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Cornell University Library 
F 627P7 P84 

Annals of Polk county, Iowa, and city of 


3 1924 028 914 351 

The original of tiiis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 








"And this volume, dedicated to its people, sets forth in attractive style all the facts and 
incidents that go to make up the history of which all citizens are justly proud." 

— Major Hoyt Sherman. 

Geo. a. Miller Printing Company, 

PRINTER.S AND Publishers, 

Des Moines, Iowa, 


Wo. ' ' 

h \i 

A .'»<■' 



/ ■»-. / 



Copyright 1896 


All Rights Reserved, 




In su/bmiittdng to the public such a work as this, treating of so many 
subjects of interest and informatiion to the people of both dty and 
county, a word of explanation is due for the benefit of the editor as well 
as the publishers of this volume. It treats of local history, and very 
properly all the mechanical and artistic work is the product of local 
laibor and skill— the engraving, the composition, the stereotyping, the 
press work, the bindiing and all the varied industries needed to build 
up amd complete a modern book, are the product of Des Moines skill 
and meohanioal labor. For all this the publisheris are entitled tO' full 
credit, amd will doubtless receive a Saiiv return in the sale of the work. 

And whale granting to the publishers their full share of credit, the 
serious,' long-continued labors of the editor must noit be lost sight of. 
With no army of skilled craftsmen at his command to aid in his share of 
the work of oompilatioin, alone he began and contiinued tO' the end the 
tedious task of gathering together facts and incidents which go to 
make up history. For while it is nominally a history of Polk county 
and the city of Des Moines alone, it is aJ'SO to a very large degree the 
hiisitory of Centrail amd Western Iowa. It covers a period of a half cen- 
tury of 'time-^really inore than that — for then it was in process of set- 
tlement by the whites; before then the Sac and Fox Indians were in fuU 
possession of the lands embraced im this county, and an account of their 
occupation and habits before removal westward, is also included in its 

The real task of the editor of this volume was a formidable one. 
Twice before this attempts were made to gather together hisitorieal facts 
and incidents of Polk county, and referring to these with a proper char- 
ity, they were simply failures. Fifty-three years ago the whole territory 
now included within the limits of Polk county was in a state of nature 
as lefit by the Indian, and the elk, and other denizens of the great un- 
explored, unsettled west. The exceptions to this condition of things 
were a few whites who, In one way or another, were' by grant from 
the General Government, permitted to become temporary residents con-! 


nected eitlier wit'h the Indian agency, trading-poists, or military attaches. 
These formed thie nucleus of the first white settlement at the Raccoon 
Forks. With their acts as individuals, and in a neighborhood capacity, 
began the Msitory of Central towa, of which the City of Des Moines 
and County of Polli have already formed sp large a portion. With this 
period in the history as a stalrting point, the historian of this booli be- 
gins his interesting and remarijable story of growth iu every possible 
line of oivilization. The little bands of settlers then grouped around the 
already historic point of "Baccoon Forlcs" began the work of improve- 
ment in building and farming, and invited new-comers from all points 
to aid them in the development of the rich country around them,and the 
half century just past shows how well they performed their task. 

The author of this book has gathered together the miaterial for his 
history very largely from official sources, partly from books of account 
of business transactions, and so'me, a small sihare, from the individual 
recollections of early settlers. Wherever possible the narrations and 
other inform'ation relative to growth have been verified from highest 
known authorities, and may be relied upon as accurate and truthful.. 
Every possible effort has been made to gain information on all points 
needed to m.alie the work of the editor complete, and to afford to the 
reader a history not only full and reliable as to growth in 'all materiaJ 
points, buit to include all incidenrts of a pleasant character occurring 
in the early settlement of a new country, including biographieal sketches 
of the settlers who took part in them. ' 

As started above, beginning at the commencement of its settlement 
by the whites, the growth and progress of agricultural interests, of mer- 
cantile and manufacturing, of population both in city and county, in 
schools and churches, in other educational insititutions, in the splendid 
record made by its sons and daughters from the beginning to the end of 
the civil war, in its roads and railroads, in its intelligent and wide-awake 
people, in every branch of business and society that tends tO' the highest 
civilization, this Polk county, with its capital the City of Des Moines, 
has made more substantial progress in all respects than any other county 
in the state. And this volume, dedicated to' its people, sets fortli in at- 
tractive style all the facts and incidents that go to make up the history, 
of which all citizens are justly proud. 


The, publication of this booli was undertaken by a publisher who 
unclerestimated the scope of the work or labor and expense involved. 
The mechanical work was done by the present publishers as contractors 
under instructions by the publisher who finally alsandoned the work. 
. By force of circumstances we became the publishers. As the work was 
too far advanced to allow of any material changes from the original 
plan, we were compelled to follow it to the end. There have been delays 
unavoidable, but we have worked steadily to make the book as complete 
as possible and a credit, not only to ourselves, but to the city and county. 
The labor and cost has 'been nearly double the original estimate, but we 
have confidence in the book itself and in the intelligence, public spirit 
and liberality of the people of the city and county. The Annals are 
now before the people, and we hope their appreciation will be shown 
thi-ough its wide sale and circulation. 





The First of Iowa — Its Discovery an.l First Seitlement — Tlie Missis- 
sippi — Tlie Des Jloiimeis. Kiver— Louisiania Pureliase — Louis- 
iana Territory — Micliigan Territory — Wisconsin Territory — 
Iowa Territory and State of Iowa Pages 33-39 


Des Jloines—Its Xame and Origin — Conflicting Tlieories — Mar- 
quette and Jollet— Bancroft— Negroes— Fatlier Keuiplier— Ful- 
tou— Frencli Probably First Wliite Men at the Raccoon Forks 
—About Middle of Last Century Pages 40-47 


The Ceding of the Lands — How the Government Acquired Title to 
Lands in Iowa— A Full Account of All the Indian Treaties for 
Iowa Lands— Official from the Records of the United States 
General Land Office— Lands in Polk County Ceded by the 
Treaty of 1842 With the Sac and Fox Tribes— "S^'hat That 
Treaty AVas— Fort Des Moines Created Under That Treaty. 
Pages 48-60 


Noted Indian Chiefs— Black Hawk— His War— Keokuk— Sketch of 
These Two Chiefs— The Musquakies— The Last of the Indians 
in Iowa— Johnny Green— etc., etc Pages Ql-7o 


The First Fort Des Moines— Established in 1834— On the Missis- 
sippi, Xear the Mouth of the Des Moines River— Official 
History of the Post— Recounoisance by Col. Kearney— He 
Inspects the Raccoon Forks— Unfavorable Report— The First 
Fort Des Moines Abandoned— Colonels Kearney, Mason and 
Roberts Pages 76-92 



The Second Fort Des Moines— Post Establislied at tlie Raccoon 
Forks -Treaty of 1842— Captain Allen in Command— Building 
of the Caljins- Official Plat— Company of Dragoons— Captain 
Allen Names the Post "Fort Raccoon"— Gen. Scott Rejects 
This'— Makes the Name Fort Des Moines— Life ait the Fort— 
The Scotts— Roster of Officers and Men Pages 93-114 


Soldiers and First Settlers— Where the Settlers Came From— First 
Irishman— The Jndians— Keokuk and Agency Prairies— The 
Trading Posts — Swing, Phelps, Bryant, and Others — Names 
of Some of the First Settlers— The Scotts, Lambs, Mitchell, 
Brooks, Thrift, Ayers, Newcomer, Parmlee, etc.— Keeping 
Intruders Out— After Troops Left, etc Pages 115-134 


Town and County in the '40s— The Troops to Leave— Settlers Come 
Crowding In— Indian Title Expires, October 11, 1845— Taking 
TJp of Claims— County Organized, April, 1846— Fort Reserva- 
tion Given to the County— Names of All Residents of the Town 
in August, 1846— Sale of Town Lots— Growth up to 1850— 
Miscellaneous Items — Newspapers . — Land Surveys — First 
Land Entries— Claim Clubs, etc Pages 135-166 


Town and County from 1850 to 1855—185 Votes Polled in Township 
of Des Moines in 1850— The Town of Fort Des Moines Organ- 
ized in 1851-^3 Votes Then Cast— The First Mayor, Rev. 
Thompson Bird— Floods of 1851— United States Land Office 
Located Here— The First Brick House— "The Point"— Dixon's 
View — Gold Excitement — Going to California— Stages — The 
Last Coach— Etc Pages 167-185 


From 1855 to 1860— New Settlers Rushing In— New Additions to 
the Town— Demand for Land and Lots— Flush Times— Hun- 
dreds of Buildings Erected— The Bast Side— Brick Buildings — 
Incorporated as the City of Des Moines— City Population in 
1857, 3,563— Location of the State Capital— Temporary Build- 
ing—List of Business Men— Panic of 1857— New. Court House 


Commenced— First Session of General Assembly— Indian 
Scare— Banii Failures— State Bank Establislied^NeTjraslia 
Money and City Script, etc Pages 186-204 


1860 to 1865— This Was the War Period— Many Companies 
Recruited in. Polk County— Two Regiments Organized Here- 
Many Improvements During This Periodicity and County 
Grew Rapidly in Population and Wealth— The Anderson 
Scare— The Draft— For Relief of Soldiers' Families— Con- 
certs, etc Pages 205-212 


I'olk County in the War— Nearly Fifty Per Cent of Voters Went as 

Soldiers — Company D, Secon-d Regiment, First to Go — Quickly 
Followed by Others— The First Dead— Their Bodies Brought 
Home — History of Company D— Its Roster— Company E, 
Fourth Iowa— Its History— Griflath's Battery— Company D, 
Second Cavalry — Companies in Tenth Infantry — Fifteenth 
Infantry — Sixteenth — Seventeenth — Eighteenth — Twenty- 
Third Infantry— Organized in Des Moines— Largely a Polk 
County Regiment— Thirty-Ninth Infantry— Organized Here — 
Many Polk County Soldiers in It— One Hundred Day Men— 
Forty-Fourth and Forty-Seventh— Enlisted Men in Other 
Regiments— First Colored— Eighth Cavalry— Sixth Cavalry- 
Recapitulation Pages 213-324 


HJrand Army of tie Republic— Its Objects and Aims— The Posts in 
Polk County- A C'oiaplete Roster of the Members, as Com- . 
piled by the Officers— The Brave Dead— A Historical Record. 
Pages 325-359 


Notes on Various Topics — Items of Gener'al anid Special Interest- 
Wood and Coal- Two Negro Slaves Held Here— Nellie San- 
ford's Early Sketches— Judge Joe Williams— Ase-po-lo— Dr. 
Say lor— Taylor Pierce, etc., etc Pages 360-369 


•Social Remimiisoenoes- By Mrs. Binia M. Wyman— Dr. Peet— Col. 
SpofiCord— George O'Kell— Billy Woodwell- The Swans— Dra- 


matic— Fancy Dress Party— "Bleeding Kansas"— Cards — The 
Allen Reception— Many Died and Others Moved Away. 
Pages 370-380-. 


County and City. 1865 to 1875— The Coming of the Railroads— Rapid 
Growth in Population, Business and Wealth — Public Build- 
ing's—Adjutant General Nat. B. Baker — Brief Slietch of His 
Life— Bridges— The "Grangers"— Woman SufCrage— Financ:al 
Troubles in the '70s — Reunton lof Army of the Tenneisisee— 
President Gr;mt's Visit, etc Pages 380-400- 


The Saloon — First "Grocery" — License Fee Then $25 Per Annum — 
Now $1,200— First Prohibitory La.w— "County Grocery"— Wine 
and Beer Clause— Many Saloons— Constitutional Amendment 
—Second. Prohibitory Law— Attempts to Enforce It— Searches 
and Seizures— Heavy Costs— Riots and Troubles— The New 
Mulct Law^Notes — Some Old-Timers Among the Saloon- 
keepers — Drug Stores, etc , Pages 401-421 


Odds and Ends — Judges McKay, Oasady and McFarland — Frank 
M. Mills — Lost on Prairies — B. Galbraith — Steamer Morgan — 
Squire AV. M. Day — P. H. Buzzard — Adarn Hafner — Bridges 
— Ed. H. Brown — Brax. Thomas— Ohas. Shafer— Valuation of 
Real Estate in City and County, etc Pages 422-43& 


Court,?- The First District Court — Judge Joe Williams— First 
Grand Jury— First Attorneys— Judges Oarleton and William 
McKay— Judge Casady— Judge McFarland— His Noted Pecul- 
iarities and Actions— Judge Stone— John H. Gray Becomes 
Judge— .Judge Nourse— Hugh W. Maxwell Succeeds Him— 
Judges Leonard, McHenry, Mitchell, Given, and Their Suc- 
cessors Pages 437-455- 


City and County, 1875 to 1885— Current Events— Suicides, Drown- 
ings and Other Deaths— Army of the Tennessee— Mrs. TUpper 
—Centennial Fourth— Exposition Building— Webb T. Dart- 
Gen. Baker's Death— Sewering and Paving Commenced— Free 


Bridges— Drake University— Big Disllllery- Burning of Clapp 
Block— Constiitutional ProhilDition Ivilled— Auditor Brown 
Ousted— City Improvements, etc Pages 456-480 


Current Events, from 1885 to 1896— The Liquor Raids— Extraor- 
dinary State of AfCairs— Many New and Large Buildings- 
Leader Office Burned— Death of H. M. Hoxie and Others- 
New Savery- Constable Logan Killed— Independents Win- 
Leader Office Again Destroyed by Fire— Governor Indicted 
—First Seni-Om-Sed Celebration— Brick Plant— Pierce Killed 
Wishapt— Other Killings and Suicides— Many Prominent Cit- 
izens Die Pages 481-503 


Crimes of Early Days— The Reeves Mob— Killing at Lafayette— 
Fonts Kills His Wife— The Hamlins— 'Squire Meaeham's Ar- 
rests—Early Justice— Murder and Suicide— Curious Fatality- 
Killing of Smith— A "Trusty" Murderer— 'Squire Morris' 
Story— Marsh Kills King— Peaceable Negro Killed— Turbulent 
Negro Killed— The Disappearance of Jack Hiner Pages 504-529 


Crimes Continued— Train Robbery— The Johnson Murder Excite- 
ment-Conviction of Howard— Hung to a Lamp Post— Other 
Parties— Kirkman Mob — The Ella Barrett Murder— Intense 
Feeling— AiTest of Henry Red, Andy Smith and Archy Brown, 
All Colored— Red Convicted and Sentenced to Penitentiary for 
Life— Smith Also Convicted- Brown Acquitted— Mailand 
Killed and Robbed— The Murderer Never Found Pages 530-552 


Crimes Continued— Jack Jones Shot Down— Yard Acquitted— Smith 
Also— John Little— His Crimes — Henry Osborn Kills His Wife 
-Sentenced to Be Hung— New Trial- Sent Up for Life— Kill- 
ing of Henry Scribner— Munda Murdered— George Kills Eijps 
—Horse Stealing — Crane Kills Bleeckmaa — Dead Body 
Pound— Smith Shoots Reynolds— Smith Suicides— Killing of 
Young Kemi)— Michael Smith Poisoned— Trials and Convic- 
tions—Killing of Conductor Ridpath— Conviction of Weems 
and Hamil. • • • • • Pages 553-569 



The Capitol— Old and New— Remoyed to Des Moines— How Brought 
About— Location of the Capitol Grounds— The Local Excite- 
ment-East Side Wins— The Temporary Capitol— Constitu- ' 
tional Provision— The Vote — Later Agitation for New Building 
—A Long Struggle Pages 570-581 


New Capitol Fought and Won— Account Written by Hon. John A. 
Kasson— He Was a Leading Member of the House— Parlia- 
mentary Manouvers— Petitions For and Against- Try Again 
in Twelfth General Assembly — A Long Oontest— Delay — The 
Final Vote— The Final Victory— The; Commissioners- Changes 
— The Work Pushed Steadily Forward to Completion. 
Pages 582-599 


Newspapers— The First One — Barlow Granger— The Star— Second, 
The Gazette— L. P. Sherman— Curtis Bates— The Statesman- 
Will Tomlinson— The Journal— Will Porter— Previous Whig 
Journal— Peter Myers, W. W. Williamson— The Citizen- John 
Teesdale— Register— F. W. Palmer, Frank M. Mills— J. M. 
Dixon— The Clarkson Brothers Get the Register and Hold It 
— The Statesman and Col. Merritt— Many Changes— W. W. 
Witmer Establishes the Daily Leader— Commonwealth- 
Changes in Loader— Strauss & Dawson — Bulletin — Jooimal — 
Iowa Homestead— Staatz Anzeiger— Conrad Beck— Col. Jos. 
Eiboeck— Plain Talk— Other Publications— Daily News— Wil- 
son, Painter and McCracken Pages 600-633 


Court Houses and Jails— The First Court House--How and Where 
Built— The Second Court House— The Troubles and Delays 
.Incident to Its Erection— Judge Napier— Isaac Cooper— Orig- 
inal Cost— Bonds— Additions— The First Jail— Built of Logs 
—The Present Nuiisaince^Need of a New Jail Pages 634-639 


Early Politics and Politicians— Whigs and Democrats— Know Noth- 
ings — Republicans — Congressional Election — That Mormon 
Vote— P. M. Oasaidy— L. W. Babbitt— Tiiois. Bakein— A. Y. 
Hull— J. C. Jordan— Dr. W. P. DavJs— H. M. Hoxie— Mayors of 
Town and City, etc Pages 640-651 



Organizatian of Townships— The First Created— Many Changes 
Made from Year to Year— Official Records- Present Town- 
ships: Allen, Beaver, Bioomfield, Camp, Clay, Crocker, Dela- 
ware, Douglas, Elkhart, Franklin, Four Mile, JefEerson, Lin- 
coln, Madison, Saylor, Walnut, Washington, Webster, Des 
Moines and Lee Pages 652-657 


Early Settlers' Association— When and How Organized— Its First 
Annual Reunion— Later Ones— Its Officers— An Imperfect List 
of Early Settlers— Taken from Association Books— Years They 
Came Pages 65S-667 


Ferries and Brldges^How Licensed— Rates of Toll— The First 
Bridge Over Des Moines River— A Float One— First at Court 
Avenue and Market Street— ^O'ther Bridges Followed — Number 
of Railroad Bridges— All Finally Made Free Pages 668-671 


Sewers, Paving, etc.— Condition of Streets in Early Days— Some- 
times Almost Impassable— Urging Sewering and Paving- 
Hard to Make a Start- Sewer System Adopted— Wood Paving 
— Improved by Bricli Paving— Large Amount Done in City- 
Miles of Sewers and Paving Now — Over a Hundred Miles Now. 
Pages 672-677 


Woman Suffrage Society — History of Movement in This City and 
County— By Mrs. M. J. Ooggeshall— The Twenty-First Anni- 
versary, etc Pages 678-681 


Early Settlers— Sketches and Stories of Them— A. D. Jones— W. W. 
Clapp— Thos. McMuUin, Dr. Grimmell, James Campbell, R. 
W. Sypher— Benjamin F. Allen— William F. Ayers— John B. 
Saylor— Ben. Saylor— Franklin Nagle Pages 682-694 



Unltecl States Land Office— Opened in 1852— Did a Large Business 
—Great Help to the Town— Tlie Rusli of 1855-56— List of Reg- 
isters and Receivers— United Staters Pension Office— Immense 
Amount of Money Now Paid Out— List of Agents Pages 695-700 


County Organization— First Election— First Board— First County 
.Judge— Notices of Various County Officers- Byron Rice- 
Barlow Granger— T. H. Napier— J H. McClelland— W. G. 
Bentley— John G. Weeks— John B. Miller-:-Oounty Auditors- 
Baker, Bristow, Jones, Brandt, McQuiston Pages 701-707 


Federal, State, County and City Officials— A Complete List for the 
Benefit of Readers — Senators — Ministers and Constils — Repre- 
sentatives — Postmasters — State Officers — State Senators- 
Members of House — Mayors of Des Moines — County Treas- 
urers — Sheriffs — Attorneys — Recorders — Superintendents 
—Surveyors— Coroners, etc Pages 708-725 


Sunday Schools of City and County- The First One — First Suuday 
School Celebration— D. C. Martz at Polk City— Nursery of 
Churches— County Conventions— N. B. Collins— Growth of 
School-s^Bible Teachers— Hoai,se Visitatiionis— Great Sunday 
School Convention, etc Pages 726-732 


■Churches- First Ones— Methodists— First Organization— Growth- 
Presbyterian — Rev. Thompson Bird — First Presbyterian— Cen- 
tral— The Baptist— Rev. John A. Nash— Catholic— Rev. John 
F. Brazill- Father Flavin, and Nugent— German Catholic— 
Episcopal— Rev. Edward W. Peet— Congregational— Rev. A. 
L. Frisble— Luthei'an— Gea-mam— Rev. Weiser— Chri^bian— The 
Central— Rev. Dr. Breeden— Hebrews— Rabbis— Unitarian 
Church— Sketch by Hon. B. F. Gue-^Seventh Day Adventists 
—United Presbyterian— Rev. Young— Y. M. C. A.— Other 
Churches and Organizations Pages 733-782 



Public Seliools— First Beginning in Fort Building— Miss Davis— 
Eice and Stevens— Mrs. Anna Bird— Rev. J. A. Nasli— First 
Graded School— Growth of Same— Catholic Schools— Lutheran 
—Female Seminary— Rev. Pomeroy— James Callanan^Schools 
Now in City and County— Hundreds of Teachers and Many 
Thousands of Pupils Pages 783-790 


Polk County Bar— Names of Pioneer Attorneys— A Host of Bright 
Men— Grovcth of the Bar— Bates, Finch, Crocker, Broven, Polk, 
Nourse, Ingersoll, McHenry, Kasson, Cole, Withrow, Seward 
Smith, Thos. Wright, and a Number of Others— List of Names 
"Now on Bar Docket Pages 791-796 


Physicians— The First Ones^Kirl£l>ride, Brooks, Fagan— The Grim- 
mels— Courtney— Shaw, Ward, Whitman, Say lor, Overman,' 
Davis, Tisdale, Russell, Allen— Those Who Followed— Dickin- 
son, Rawson, McGorrisk, Steele, Grimes, Patchen, Windle, 
Molesworth, LJjlie— Dr. Armstrong— Dr. Mather— Dr. Pence— 
And Others Pages 797-803 


Banking in Polk County— By Hoyt Sherman— The First Banking- 
Dealers in Land Warrants and Money— Entering Lands— 
"Wild Cat" Money— Bank of Tennessee — A. J. Stevens- 
Nebraska Banks — New Constitution — Banking Permitted 
' —State Bank— Des Moines Branch— Present Banking— Banks 
Now Doing Business in Des Moines— Statements Showing 
Financial Oondition., etc Pages 804-818 


Towns of the County — Valley Junction- By Emery H. English— 
Who Founded It — Railroad Town— Centralizing Railroad 
Shops— Mitchellville— Founded by Worthy Pioneer, Thomas 
Mitchell- Good Town— Early Troubles— Industrial School- 
Newspapers, etc Pages 819-824 



Semi-Oentennial Oelebration— 1896— Fifty Years State of Iowa— At 
Union Park— A Great Parade— Land and Water— Musquakie 
Indians Present— Addresses from Grand Stand toy Men of 
Iowa Birtti- Tlie Old Stage Goaqh— The Cyclone of '96— 
Da-wson-Seott Tragedy— Breweries and Distilleries— Odds and 
Ends Pages 825-836 


Insurance Companies of Des Moines— Grown to Immense Propor- 
tions—The State— Hawkeye-DeiS' M'dines— Caipital— Fidelity— 
Iowa— Mutual Companies- First Fire Insurance Agency- 
Life Insurance Companies- The Old Reliable Iowa Equitable 
— Royal Union— BamkeiTS' Life— Des Moineis Life— Farmers' 

Live Stock— Nopthwestern—Masonie— Odd Fellows, etc., etc. 
Pages 837-844 


Hotels— Martin X. Tucker— B. F. Hosie— W. F. Marvin and B. F. 
Luce — Savery — Morris — Stutsman — Spofford — Warner— 
Barter- Savery House— Kirkwood—Maeartney— John Hays— 
The McAtees— Given House— The Graefe— The Aborn- Gold- 
etone — Morgan — Sabin — New Savery— Ca^pital-Nelson, etc. 
Pages 845-852 


LigM and Water Oompainies — Railroads- Firsit Gas Compamy— The 
Capiitall Oirty Gas light Company- First Waiter Company- 
Street Railways— Dr. M. P. Turner- Meetcdc^-JefC. S. Polk— 
Consiolldation— Great Improvements— Ralilroads in City and 
County- Valley Roajd First- Rock Islaind— Ames— Northwest- 
ern— O., B. & Q.— Wabajsti— Des Moines Noi'tli.eriii and Western 
-Great Western, etc Pages 853-859 


Ooileges— -Des Moines— Drake University- Highland Park— Danisib 

College— Business Colleges— Iowa— Oairital City Pages 860-865 



Hospiita/ls^Cottage— Tlie Tracey Home— Mercy Hospttal— Care of 

Injured and Sick Pages 866-868 


Secre/t Societies— Fnatemal— The Masons^Large Number of Odd 
Feillows— Good Templats land. Sons of Temperance— Hiber- 
niaais— Red Men— Knigjhts of Pythias— Woodmen— Blfcs— Other 
Societies-T-Trade Organiizations. Pages 869-871 


Additdonal Account of Newspapers— Capiitai-Mail and Times- 
Wesitern Economist— Spirit of the West— Review— Globe- 
Wallaces' Earmor and Dairyman— Farmers' Tribune— By- 
stander— News Changes, etc Pages 872-878 


Polk County Towns— Avon — ^Altoona— SheldaJil- Peoria City — Polk 
City— Towns in Madison and Jefferson Townships— Camp 
Townsiliip Towns — Ankeny — Grimes — Elkhart — Sevastopol 
— Sayloryille-^ltondurant— etc '. Pages 879-892 


Items Old and New— Tucker— First Things— "Western Dandies" — 
, Jtidge Byron Rice— President Grant's Speech— Early Butchers 
--Town of Lafayette, etc. Pages 893-897 

': CHAPTER 56. 

MiseeBaneous^One Manufacturing Comijany— The Firsit Israelite 
Merchant- Letter from Hdm— Coal Mining in Polk County— 
ReUgion Among the Pioneers— Our Colored Citizens— Their 
Growth, Improvement and Prosperity Pages 898-906 


Current Events— 1895— Mayor HlUis— Sale of Leader- Consent Peti- 
tion Knocked Out— Cora Smith Pleads Guilty— Deputy Clerk 
Walker Killed— State Fair- Dead of Year— 1896— Robbing of 


Graves— Pioneer Law Makers— Pearson Kill-ed— Harbaeli Fire 
—Sam Masti— First White Child Boini— George Frank Killed— 
Other rtems^Dead of Year- Poiili'cal Excitement— Many 
Changes— 1897— Ex'tra Session to Work on New Code— Investi- 
galtionis — Fdre in Bice Building — Cail Laveke Killed — Gov. 
Di-ake Hurt— State Fair- Seni-Om-Sed— Dead of Year— 1898— 
Killing of Frank KaMer— Suicide of Larson- Pioneer Law 
Makers— Betsy Smith— Exciting City Election — Deaths of 

Prominent Citizens — Additions to Towns of the County 

Pages 907-925 


War With Spain— Governor Calls Out State Troops— Catnp MeKin- 
ley Established- Organization of Companies and Regiments- 
Departure of Troops — Two Compandes from. Des Moines — 
A and H of Fifty-first Regiment— Complete Roster of Officers 
ana Men— Ofiicers Appointed from County^, etc., etc Pages 926-929 




Ankeny, Gen. K. V 956 

Ashworth, Charles H 1040 

Berrylaill, James G 970 

Berryliill, Virginia J 971 

Boehler, Charles A .1055 

Bowmai^ M. T. V 959 

Brandt, Mr. and Mrs. Isaac 1019 

Casady, P. M 933 

Cheshire, Thos. A 998 

Clark, James S 983 

Clark, Geli. Geo. W 984 

Cole, C. C 989 

Conrad, W. F 1009 

Crocker, Gen. M. M 1011 

Cummins, A. B -. 964 

Davis, Prof. Floyd 1037 

DicTiinson, Dr. W. H 996 

Eastbridge, Mrs. Chloe Black 1045 

Eiboeck, Joseph 954 

Ewing, David R 1028 

Fuller, Dr. Geo. W 952 

Gatch, Gol. C. H 976 

Granger, Barlow 937 

Green, Samuel 992 

Hanawalt, George P 1033 

Harris, Hardy C 1026 

Hargis, Henry C. 1046 

Hepburn, J. Add 949 

Hepburn, Anna E 950 


Howell, Adam ; ^48 

Hughs, Geo. S 1008 

Hull, J. A. T 966 

Hunter, Ed. H 979 

Hussey, Tacitus 1061 

111, Lorenz .1054 

Lowery, Austin P 1013 

MacVicar, John ' 1031 

Mason, Ed. K 994 

Mattes, Mr. and Mrs. Paul 1035 

Matthews, William 1049 

Martin, L. M 962 

McGarraugh, Mr. and Mrs. J. D 1044 

McVey, A. H 968 

Miller, Anthony M 1048 

Miller, George A 1057 

Miller, Mark 986 

Nelson, David 1054 

Park, W. A 1000 

Phillips, W. W 1002 

Phillip's, William 1004 

Polk, Jefferson S 102-1 

Porter, Will 1063 

Priebe, William 1054 

Redhead, Wesley 948 

Reinking, O. D 939 

Riegelman, Henry lOlu 

Rice, Byron 981 

Roljertson, S. A 1006 

Sherman, Hoyt 93.") 

Sims, George 1017 

Stewart, J. B 941 

Van Ginkel, G 1050 

Williamson, Gen. J. A 945 

Wright, George G 973 

youngerman, Conrad IO42 



Gen. Georg-e W. Clark, after a brief illness, died in Washington, 
D. C, May 22, 1898. He was buried in Arling-ton Cemetery May 2Sth, 
with distinguished honors, and sleeps his last sleep near many others 
who fought bravely and well for the preservation and perpetuation of 
the Union of these United States. 

The plat of the Post of Fort Des Moines, printed on pages 77 and 
78, should have been printed at the commencement of Chapter VI, page 
93, where it properly belongs. 



A short preface to this book, telling something of its own history, 
may not be out of place. More than three years ago this work was 
undertaken, and the writing. of the Annals commenced. The announce- 
ment was then made that the book would run to 500 or 600 pages, 
and would be a "straight history of the county of Polk and city of Des 
Moines." This object has been kept steadily in view, although the num- 
ber of pages have been almost doubled, the cost largely added to, while 
the subscription price has not been changed from the original figures 

While the original subscribers and others will be the gainers by the 
delay in publication, yet, in justice to the writer and others, the cause 
of this delay should be briefly explained. The first contract with the 
publishers was an unfortunate one. They had not suflicient capital to 
successfully carry out their original contract. This and other causes 
resulted in vexatious delays and disappointments, finally resulting in 
legal suits which dragged their slow length through the courts. The 
writer was not a party to or in those suits, but he was much hampered 
and not a little discouraged by and through them. At last the Gbokgb 
A. Miller Printing Company became the publishers, a new contract 
was made, the work pushed to completion, and now to the public is 
presented the finished Annals of Polk County and City of Des . 
Moines. The work speaks for itself. 

The compilation of this work has caused the writer much more 
research and labor than he anticipated when commencing it, though he 
then realized it would be no light task Which he had undertaken. He 
has endeavored to do his work as thoroughly and conscientiously as 
possible, and it is now before the people of the city and county for their 
approval or condemnation. It is almost entirely his own work. He nor 
the publishers have so far had any help, pecuniary or otherwise, offi- 
cially from the city or county, although many good citizens think a few 
hundreds of dollars of public moneys would be well expended in per- 
petuating and making the people familiar with the true history of the 
city and county of the state. This work has cost the writer and the 
publishers more than double the amount first estimated, and as a com- 


mereial speculation it may not be a desirable one; yet we trust the 
Intelligent and liberal citizens of Des Moines and Polk county will see 
to it that we are secured from less and' in the end receive a fair com- 
pensation for our labors. 

No claim is made that this work is perfect, or that it could not be 
bettered in many ways, but we trust its errors- will be overlooked and it 
will be pronounced by all to be the first and only nearly complete history 
of the city and county ever published. In concluding, allow me to 
return my personal thanks to those of my friends, and they are not few, 
who have so greatly aided and encouraged me in this work. They will 
always be held in grateful remembrance by 

Yours truly, WILL, PORTER. 



S^ 2 ^S 

H il s> ?! 






THE State of Iowa is a portion of what is known as 
the "Louisiana Purchase." This vast tract of terri- 
tory, extending from the mouth of the Mississippi, 
in the Gulf of Mexico, along the general line of that 
river to Canada and the British Northwest territory, and 
west to the old line of Mexico, was originally claimed by 
France, under the right of discovery, a little more than 
two hundred years ago. The Spaniards had, for nearly a 
hundred years previous to this, navigated the Gulf of Mex- 
ico, and had made large conquests of countries bordering 
upon the Gulf, but, strangely as it now seems, overlooked 
the mouth of the great Mississippi Elver. They do not 
seem to have known of the existence of this — the largest 
river upon the continent. The discovery was to be made 
from the north and not from the south. When the French 
occupied the Canadas they pushed their soldiers, priests, 
traders and trappers rapidly to the west and southwest. 
These Frenchmen were the first to discover and navigate 
the great lakes. They pushed down upon the headwaters 
of the Ohio and established Fort Duquesne, now Pitts- 
burg. They were on the Wabash Eiver early in the last 
century, and planted the town of Vincennes, Indiana. 
The}' kept on west and established forts and villages at 
Kaskaskia and other points in Illinois, and also made set- 
tlements at St. Louis and other points in the state of Mis- 

The French explorer, La Salle, had pushed his discov- 
eries from Canada along the great lakes, and it is said 


that he, towards the latter part of the seventeenth cen- 
tury, exphjred the Illinois and finally found his wa,y to the 
banks of tlie upper Mississippi Eiver. And it is claimed 
that he reached the mouth of the Mississippi in the year 
1691. Iberville founded his first colony on the lower Mis- 
sissippi, in what is now the state of Louisiana, in 1G99, but 
no firm settlement was made until the year 1717, when the 
city of Xew Orleans was founded. Prior to this, in 1712, 
Louis XIV, of France, had granted to M. Crazant a charter 
to this whole immense territory, which, in honor of the 
king, was named Louisiana. Four years later one of the 
greatest financial and real estate "booms'' known in his- 
tory was started by the notorious John Law and his asso- 
ciates. A company was formed in Paris, chartered as the 
"Mississippi Company,'' in 1716, which nominally pur- 
chased the territory from the crown. A period of wild 
inflation followed. Princes, nobles, merchants and peas- 
ants fought and scrambled for the privilege of purchasing 
the stock and bonds of the company. The women became 
as wild as the men in this mad rush for supposed wealth, 
and a wild frenzy of speculation spread from Paris all 
over France, and even to England and other countries. 
For a time John Law virtually outranked, in public esti- 
mation, all emperors and kings. But the end soon came. 
"The Mississippi Bubble," as it has since been generall.y 
called, suddenly burst, causing financial loss, ruin and 
even death to many thousands of people of all classes. 
Thei'e may have since been wild speculations, flush times 
and "booms" of all sorts in the Mississippi Valley, but 
Law's first and original speculative bubble has never been 
equalled for splendid recklessness, credulity and financial 
wildness. After the collapse of this bubble company, 
Louisiana was resumed by the crown and the commerce of 
the Mississippi declared free. 


The French retained possession until 1TG2, Avhen the 
Avliole country was ceded to Spain, giving to the latter the 
territory north to the headwaters of the Mississippi River, 
and west to the Rocky Mountains. The Spaniards held 
control of this great territoi-y until 1800, and, as seems 
natural to them, did but little towards settling up or de- 
veloping the most fertile and productive region of the 
entire continent, if not of the world. Xapoleon Bonaparte 
was then coming into poAver in France, and his genius saw 
at once the value of the heretofore neglected territory, 
and he brought such a pressure to bear upon Spain that 
the latter ceded it back to France, and the Spanish rule 
was forever ended in 1800. Prior to the cession by Spain 
to France, and while the former held possession, there 
had been much trouble between United States citizens 
and the Spanish authorities, over the navigation of the 
Mississippi River. The we.stern and southern territories 
of the United States were being rapidly settled by a 
hardy, enterprising race of people, who could illy brook 
the Spanish claim of the exclusive right of navigation on 
the lower Mississippi. These enterprising Americans 
claimed the river as the natural outlet and inlet for their 
produce and goods, and demanded that it should be free 
for them. The haughty and overbearing Spaniards re- 
plied by erecting forts along the river, demanding duties 
on imports and establishing vexatious, irritating and ex- 
pensive regulations relative to river commerce. This 
brought on a threatening state of affairs between the two 
countries, forecasting much trouble, if not open war. 
Finalh^, however, a treaty was signed October 20, 1795, by 
which Spain conceded to the United States free naviga- 
tion of the river from its source to the Gulf, and also the 
free use of the Port of New Orleans for three years, as a 
port of deposit. This treaty had a quieting effect for a 


time but more trouble came, and in 1802, during tlie ad- 
ministration of President Jefferson ttiere were apprehen- 
sions of war over the river and southwestern boundary 

In the year mentioned, however, a sudden change came 
in the situation. It was learned that, by a secret treaty 
made in 1800, two years previous, between France and 
Spain, the latter had ceded Louisiana again to France. It 
was at first supposed this cession included the Floridas, 
then in the possession of Spain. In Ms message to con- 
gress, in 1802, President Jefferson mentioned this cession 
to France, and congress promptly passed resolutions de- 
claring the right of the citizens of the United States to 
the free navigation of the Mississippi River and a free port 
of entry and deposit. President Jefferson had long seen 
the absolute necessitj' that this countrj^ should, at the 
earliest possible day, secure the absolute and undisputed 
control of this valuable territory. He had previously in- 
structed the American minister to France, Mr. Living- 
ston, and in January, 1803, he appointed James Monroe, 
with orders to proceed to Paris and act in this matter in 
conjunction with Mr. Livingston. The instructions only 
asked for the cession of the City of New Orleans and the 
Floridas, with the free navigation of the Mississippi. 
Bonaparte was then in power in France as First Consul, 
and was preparing for a serious war with England. He 
knew that when the war came he could not hold the 
mouth of the Mississip]3i or New Orleans against the Eng- 
lish. He promptly informed the American ministers that 
he would not cede New Orleans alone, but Avould cede all 
of Louisiana to the United States, upon favorable terms 
and conditions. This offer to cede so vast a region of 
country, with the largest river in North America, Avas 
more than the American ministers were authorized to ask 


for or accept. They had asked for a small town and an 
insignificant amount of territorj^, and were met bj' the 
offer of a mighty territorial empire. 

The times were critical. There were grave dangers in 
delay. The ministers wisely decided, as it were, to over- 
step their limited powers. Bonaparte urged the negoti- 
ations forward, and a treaty was concluded on the thir- 
tieth of April, 1803, and a few days later signed by the 
respective ministers. The United States was to pay for 
this vast territory only |15, 000,000. In the congratula- 
tions over the treaty Bonaparte made a remark which 
showed his keen insight into the future, and one of his 
guiding reasons for making the sale. He said: "This 
accession of territorj^ strengthens forever the power of 
the United States, and I have given to England a mara- 
time rival that will sooner or later humble her pride." 
Spain demurred for a time to the treaty, but finally 
waived all objections, and in October, 1803, the United 
States senate ratified the treaty by twenty-four votes for 
to seven against. 

The country ceded by this treaty was at the time esti- 
mated to exceed in extent a million square, miles, all 
occupied more or less by Indians, except a few sparse 
settlements, aggregating less than 100,000 inhabitants, 
all told, and of these about 40,000 were negro slaves. The 
whites were mostly French, or of that descent, with a 
sprinkling of Spaniards and a few thousand natives of the 
United States who had penetrated the country from bor- 
dering states and territories. The "Louisiana Purchase" 
embraced not only the present state of Louisiana, but all 
the vast region of countrj' between the Mississippi Eiver 
and the Eocky Mountains, running as far north as the 
British Possessions. The states of Arkansas, Missouri, 
Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, 


Idaho, the two Dakotas, and the greater part of Minne- 
sota, were carred from this cheaply acquired territory. 

This newly acquired territory was, by act of Congress, 
October 1, 1804, divided as follows: All south of the 33d 
parallel of north latitude was called the Territory of Or- 
leans, and all north of this line the District of Louisiana, 
the latter being placed, for the time being, under the 
jurisdiction of the officers of the then Indian Territory. 
.July 4, 1805, the Territory of Louisiana was given a terri- 
torial government of its own. In 1812 the Territory of 
Louisiana became the state of Louisiana, and the terri- 
torial name changed to that of Missouri. July 4, 1814, 
Missouri Territory was divided — that part now compris- 
ing the State of Arkansas and west of it Avas made the 
Territory of Arkansas. In March, 1821, a part of Missouri 
Territory was organized as the State of Missouri, and 
admitted into the Union. June 28, 1834, the territory 
west of the Mississippi IJiver and north of Missouri, em- 
bracing Iowa, was made a part of the Territory of Michi- 
gan, and so continued until July 4, 183G, when Wisconsin 
Territory was organized. This embraced within its limits 
the present states of Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota. An 
act of Congress, approved June 12, 1838, created the Terri- 
tory of Iowa, embracing not only the area of our present 
state, but covering much of Minnesota, and extending 
north to the British Possessions. In December, 184G, 
Iowa, with her present limits, was admitted into the 
LTnion as a sovereign state. 

To briefly sum up Iowa: 1st. Belonged to France by 
right of discoverv. 2d. Was transferred bv France to 
Spain. 3d. Transferred back to France by Spain. 4th. 
Sold by France to the United States 5th. Made part of 
the Province of Louisiana. 6th. Temporarily attached to 
Indiana Territory 7th. Made part of Louisiana Territory. 



8th. Became a portion of the Territory of Missouri. Otli. 
Attached to the Territory of Michigan. 10th. Annexed to 
Wisconsin Territory. 11th. Made the Territory of Iowa. 
12th. Became the State of Iowa. It has been under the 
rule of: 1st. Indians. 2d. French. 3d. Spaniards. 4th. 
Frencli. 5th. United States. And all these changes ex- 
cept the first two have been made in the lifetime of men 
now living! 



DES MOINES was naturally named from the river up- 
on whose banks it was located. As to the derivation 
of the name of the river, several theories have been 
advanced. The most generally accepted is that its true 
meaning is the River of the Monks, or, in French, Riviere 
des Moines. This is supposed to have originated from the 
presence of Catholic Monks at a very early day, at, or near, 
the mouth of the river. In fact, it is known that many 
years ago Trappist Monks — Moines de la Trappe — resided 
on or near the mounds on the American bottom in Illinois, 
not very far south of the mouth of the Des Moines River. 
These monks no doubt made excursions to this point, and 
perhaps traveled some distance up the river in their self- 
denying and successful religious work among the Indians 
of that time. According to Nicollet, the name Des Moines 
is a corruption of an Indian word, signifying, "at the 
road," which became in later times by the inhabitants 
associated with the name of the Trappist Monlvs before 

But, if the account of Marquette and Joliet is to be 
trusted, there is no doubt the original Indian name of the 
river was Moning-guines, and on the ancient French map it 
appears as Moingona. This is a French corruption of the 
Algonquin word, Milconang, signifying "the road." Ful- 
ton, in his history of "The Red Men of Iowa," states this, 
and adds: 

"When the French first established trading posts 
on the Mississippi, they applied the name Moin to the 


Indians who resided on the river called Des Moines, and 
in speaking of that river would say, 'la riviere des Moines," 
or 'the River of the Moin.' Long after this, in some way, 
the name became associated with that of the Trappist 
Monks {Moines de la Trappe), a people who were living with 
the Indians on what was known as the 'American Bottom' 
in Illinois. After this the idea prevailed that the true 
reading of the 'riviere des Moin,' was 'riviere des Moines,' or 
'Eiver of the Monks,' And so the name Des Moines began 
to appear on modern maps. The first part of the name, 
des, is clearlj^ French, while the latter part has been cor- 
rupted from the original Moin to the orthography of the 
French word Moines, the pronunciation of which is the 

Father Kempker, in his "History of the Catholic 
Church in Iowa," says: 

"In the spring of the year, 1720, the Capuchin Pere Le 
Grand drafted for the Capuchin monastary at Dijon a ter- 
restrial globe, which is now preserved in the public library 
in Dijon, in France, on which the Mississippi, Missouri, 
Illinois, Des Moines and St. Peter rivers are plainly 
marked, and special prominence is given to the Des Moines 
River, which there has the name of 'B. des Moingona' — 
River of the Moingonas. From this Indian tribe the pres- 
ent name of the river has its derivation, and not, as some 
have presumed, from 'R. des Moines' — River of the 
Monks. The Indian tribe, set forth on this, in Iowa and 
Minnesota are the lowas, Pawnees, Otoes, Pottawatta- 
mies, Omahas, Sioux, Tintons, Esamps, Mandans, with 
Iowa, Kickapoo and Moingona rivers, and Sioux Lake. 

"Tradition speaks of the Indian custom, from ages im- 
memorial, of using a path from the Des Moines Rapids 
on the Mississippi, westward, and the very name of the 
people of this river has reference to the Indian highway, 
the Moingona, signifying 'The People by the Way.' 
When the early settlers took possession of the land they 
could yet see plain evidences of this Indian trail leading 
to the Des Moines and beyond it to the west. It must 
have been at some former period a great thoroughfare, 
as it was worn in many places on level grovxnd for miles 
six inches in depth." 


The Dakota or Sioux name of the Des Moines Elver was 
hiyan-sha-sha-icatpa, or 'Bedstone River.' This name 
was formed from the Dakota words inyan, stone; slia-sha, 
red, and loatpa, river. 

The Sacs and Foxes, tribes which belonged to the Al- 
gonquin race, and spoke a language quite different from 
that of the Sioux, called the river Ke-sauh-sepo, or 
Ke-sauk-kee-sepo, after the national name of the Sauk-kee 
or Sac tribe. This name is interpreted as meaning "The 
River of the 8auk-kee" the termination sepo meaning a 
river or stream in the Algonquin language. At the begin- 
ning of the present century the Sacs had a village near 
the mouth of the river and hence the name Kee-sauk-kee- 

The late Hon. Charles Negus, of Fairfield, an early set- 
tler and close observer and student of all pertaining to 
Iowa and especially her early history, contended that the 
river was named from the number of pre-historic mounds 
found along or near to the valley of the river. That its 
true meaning should be: "The River of the Mounds." 
Some years ago he wrote sO' eloquently and truly of the 
river, that we will quote a few paragraphs : 

"Nearly every state has some one particular river 
which especially attracts the attention of its citizens, on 
which their minds delight to dwell, about which they 
bestow their praise. Iowa has the beautiful river Des 
Moines on which her citizens delight to bestoAV their 
eulogies. More has been done, said and thought about 
this river than all the other rivers in the state. In beauty 
of native scenery, in productiveness of soil, in mineral 
wealth, and in the many things which attract attention 
and add to the comfort of man, the valley of the Des 
Moines is not surpassed by any locality in the world. 

"The banks of this great water course and the surround- 
ing country, bear the marks of having been the home of 
a numerous people, centuries in the past, and that this 
people were possessed of many of the arts of civilized life. 


But of what race of people they were, and of the acts and 
scenes which have taken place in the beautiful valley, we 
may imagine, but probably never know. Of their habits 
and customs they have left some marks; but still there is 
wrapped around these evidences of their doings — a mys- 
tery that is hard to solve." 

In this connection it may be well to quote something 
from the great historian, Bancroft, in relation to the 
first white discoverers of the river and its name. He says : 
"Marquette and Joliet Avere the first white men to set 
foot on the soil of Iowa, and that this occurred on June 
25, 1673, some 222 years ago. On this day these two ex- 
plorers were floating down the Mississippi Eiver, having 
reached it from Lake Michigan, by the Fox and Wisconsin 
rivers. They traveled in two birch bark canoes." The 
historian continued his history as follows : 

"They entered happily the great river, with a joy that 
could not be expressed; and the two birch bark canoes, 
raising their happy sails under new skies and to unknown 
breezes, floated down the calm magnificence of the ocean 
stream, over the broad, clear sandbars, the resort of nu- 
merous waterfowl — gliding past islets that swelled from 
the bosom of the stream, with their tufts of massive thick- 
ets, and between the wide plains of Illinois and Iowa, 
all garlanded with majestic forests, or checkered by is- 
land groves and the open vastness of the prairie. 

"About sixty leagues below the mouth of the Wiscon- 
sin, the western bank of the Mississippi bore on its sands 
the trail of men; a little footpath was discerned leading 
into a beautiful prairie; and, leaving the canoes, Joliet 
and Marquette resolved alone to brave a meeting with the 
savages. After walking six miles they beheld a village 
on the banks of the river, and two others on the slope, at a 
distance of a mile and a half from the first. The river 
was the Mou-in-gou-e-na, or Moingona, from which we have 
corrupted the name Des Moines. Marquette and Joliet 
were the first white men who trod the soil of Iowa. Cora- 
mending themselves to God, they uttered a loud cry. The 
Indians hear; four old men advance slowly to meet them, 
bearing the peacepipe, brilliant with many colored 


plumes. 'We are Illinois/ said they — tliat is, when trans- 
lated — 'We are men;' and they offered the calumet An 
aged chief received them at his cabin with upraised hands, 
exclaiming, 'How beautiful is the sun, Frenchmen, Avhen 
thou comest to> visit us! Our whole village awaits thee; 
thou shalt enter in peace into all our dwellings.' And 
the pilgrims were followed by the devouring gaze of an 
astonished crowd. 

"At the great council Marquette published to them the 
one true God, their creator. He spoke also of the great 
captain of the French, the governor of Canada, who had 
chastised the five nations and commanded peace; and he 
questioned them respecting the Mississippi and the tribes 
that possessed its banks. For the messengers, who an- 
nounced the subjection of the Iroquois, a magnificent fes- 
tival was prepared of hominy and fish, and the choicest 
viands from the prairies. \ 

"After six days' delay, and invitations to new visits, the 
chieftain of the tribe, with hundreds of warriors, attended 
the strangers to their canoes; and selecting a peacepipe 
embellished with the head and neck of brilliant birds, 
and all feathered over with plumage of various hues, they 
hung around Marquette, the mysterious arbiter of peace 
and war, the sacred calumet, a safeguard among the na- 

A somewhat singular fact in history is that stated hy 
our deceased fellow townsman, A. E. Fulton, in his admir- 
able history, "The Eed Men of Iowa," published in 1882, in 
Des Moines. Mr. Fulton says : 

"While the whites on the borders of Pennsylvania and 
Virginia were subject to all the horrors of a merciless In- 
dian war, some two thousand people of European descent 
were living in comparative safety among the tribes; so 
far to the west, that to the people of the provinces east 
of the Alleghenies, it was a strange and unknown region. 
Even before Pennsylvania was settled by white men, the 
daring Norman Jesuit, La Salle, had built a fort in the 
country of the Illinois, and long before the end of the 
eighteenth century the black robe of the Jesuit mission- 
ary was known in every Indian village throughout the 
vast region, from the Miami to the Mississippi, and from 
the lakes to the Ohio. The principal white settlements 



in this region at the date of the Pontiac War — 1763-5 — 
were at Kaskaskia, Cahokia and Fort Chartres, now in 
Illinois, and Vincennes, now in Indiana." 

Being so near at so early a date, and remaining for so 
many years, it is not improbable, but rather most proba- 
ble, these early French settlers and explorers, not far from 
the middle of the last centurj^, visited the Valley of the 
Des Moines, and extended their explorations along the 
same up to if not north of the present site of the City of 
Des Moines. There is little doubt some of these French- 
men were the first white settlers in this section, though 
there is no written history to prove what can be safely 
regarded as a fact. 



THE following facts in regard to, the various Indian 
tribes, at one time occupying the territory now em- 
braced within the limits of the state of Iowa, have 
been kindly furnished specially for this history, by Hon. 
D. M. Browning, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, under 
date of Washington, July 15, 1895. He, at the same time, 
furnished the diagram of the state of Iowa, showing the 
lands claimed by the several bands of Indians, as well as 
the cessions made by them. To Commissioner Browning 
our readers are much indebted for this valuable informa- 
tion, much of which is now for the first time published in 
such a complete and corrected form : 

The tract of country comprised within the present lim- 
its of the state of Iowa, was once claimed and inhabited 
hj the lowas, the Pottawattamies, certain bands of Sioux 
and the Sac and Fox nation of Indians. 

By the first article of the treaty of August 4, 1824, (7 
Stats., p. 229,) with the Sac and Fox Indians, the small 
tract of country lying between the Des Moines and the 
Mississippi, was set apart for the use of the half-breeds 
belonging to the said Sac and Fox nations, holding it by 
the same title and in the same manner that other Indian 
titles were held, but by act of June 30, 1834, the United 
States relinquished the reversionary interest of the 
United States therein. (4 Stats., p. 740.) 

By an act approved March 3, 1843, (5 Stats., p. 622,) 
Congress authorized the northern line of the above tract 
set apart for the half-breeds to be surveyed. By a subse- 


quent act, however, approved June 15, 1844, (5 Stats., p. 
666,) the act of 1843 was repealed and the line as run by 
Jenifer S. Sprigg, in 1832 and in 1833, under contract with 
William Clark, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, was rat- 
ified, approved and established as the correct northern 
boundary of said reservation. A copy of the plat and field 
notes of survey of this tract, containing 119,088.27 acres 
of land, are on file in this office, and a full history of said 
"half-breed tract" may be found in a pamphlet of forty- 
four pages by Orion Clemens, entitled, "City of Keokuk 
in 1856," published at Keokuk by O. Clemens, book and 
job printer, 52 Main street, 1856. 

By the treaty of August 19, 1825, (7 Stats., p. 272), with 
the Sioux, Sacs and Foxes, lowas, Pottawattamies and 
other tribes, certain boundary lines were established be- 
tween the several tribes, parties to said treaty. The line 
dividing the Sioux from the Sac and Fox Nations is as 
follows, viz: 

"Commencing at the mouth of the upper Iowa Eiver, on 
the west bank of the Mississippi, and ascending the said 
Iowa Eiver, to its left fork; thence up that fork to its 
source; thence crossing the fork of Eed Cedar Eiver, in a 
direct line to the second or upper fork of the Des Moines 
Eiver; and thence in a direct line to the lower fork of the 
Calumet (Big Sioux) Eiver; and down that river to its 
juncture with the Missouri Eiver." 

By the first article of the treaty of July 15, 1830, (7 
Stats., p. 328,) with the Sacs and Foxes, the Medawakan- 
ton, . Wahpacoota, Wahpeton and Sisseton bands of 
Sioux, lowas and other tribes, a cession to the United 
States of all their right in and to the lands lying within 
the following boundaries was made, viz : 

"Beginning at the upper fork of the Demoine Eiver, and 
passing the sources of the Little Sioux and Floyd rivers, 
to the fork of the first creek which falls into the Big Sioux 


or Calumet on the east side; thence, down said creek, and 
Calumet Eiver to the Missouri River; thence down said 
Missouri River to the Missouri state line, above the Kan- 
sas ; thence along said line to the northwest corner of the 
said state, thence to the high lands between the waters 
falling into the Missouri and Des Moines, passing to said 
high lands along the dividing ridge between the forks of 
the Grand River; thence along said high lands or ridge 
separating the waters of the Missouri from those of the 
Demoine to a point opposite the source of Boyer River, 
and thence in a direct line to the upper fork of the De- 
moine, the place of beginning." 

By the second article of the same treaty, the Sac and 
Fox Indians cede to the United States a tract of country 
twenty miles in width, from the Mississippi to the Des 
Moines, situated south, and adjoining the line between 
the said confederated tribes of Sacs and Foxes and the 
Sioux above defined. 

In April, 1832, certain lawless and desperate leaders 
of a formidable band, constituting a large portion of the 
Sac and Fox Nation, left their country, in violation of 
treaty, and commenced an unprovoked war upon the 
white citizens. When subdued, these Indians made an- 
other treaty, September 21, 1832, (7 Stats., p. 374) wherebv 
they ceded to the United States all the lands to Avhich said 
tribes had title or claim included within the following 
boundaries, viz: 

"Beginning on the Mississippi River, at the point where 
the Sac and Fox northern boundary line, as established 
by the Second Article of the treaty of Prairie dil Chien of 
the fifteenth of July, one thousand eight hundred and thirty, 
strikes said river; thence up said boundary line to a 
point fifty miles from the Mississippi, measured on 
said line; thence in a right line to the nearest point on the 
Red Cedar of the loway, forty miles from the Mississippi 
River; thence in a right line to a point in the northern 


boundary line of the state of Missouri, fifty miles, measur- 
ed on safd boundary, from the Mississippi Eiver, thence by 
the last mentioned boundary to the Mississippi Eiver, and 
by the western shore of said river to the place of begin- 

The Indians agreed to remove from this tract of coun- 
try on or before the first of June, 1833, and the United 
States agreed out of this cession to establish a reservation 
for these Indians, containing four hundred square miles, 
to be laid off under the direction of the President, in such 
manner "that nearly an equal portion of the reservation 
may be on both sides of said (Iowa) River, and extending 
downwards so as to include Keokuk's principal village on 
its right bank, which village is about twelve miles from 
the Mississippi River." By a subsequent treaty made with 
the Sac and Fox Indians, September 28, 1836, (7 Stats., p. 
517,) they ceded to the United States the aforesaid reser- 
vation of four hundred sections or square miles, which 
had been surveyed and laid off by the order of the Presi- 
dent, from which they agreed to emigrate by the first of 
November, 1836. 

By the treaty of October 21, 1837, (7 Stats., p. 540,) the 
Sac and Fox Indians made to the United States the fol- 
lowing cession: 

"First. Of a tract of country containing 1,250,000 (one 
million two hundred and fifty thousand) acres lying west 
aiirl adjoining the tract conveyed by them to the United 
States in the treaty of September 21, 1832. It is under- 
stood that the points of termination for the present ces- 
sion shall be the northern and southern points of said 
tract as fixed by the survey made under the authority of 
the United States, and that a line shall be drawn between 
them, so as to intersect a line extended westwardly from 
the angle of said tract nearly opposite to Rock Island as 
laid down in the above survey, so far as may be necessarj 
to include the number of acres hereby ceded, which last 


mentioued Hue it is estimated will be about tweut,y-llve 

"vSecoud. Of all right or iuterest iu the land ceded by 
said confederated tribes ou the 15th of July, 1830, which 
might be claimed by them under the phraseology of the 
first article of said treaty." 

The Sacs and Foxes agreed to remove from the tract 
ceded, with the exception of Keokuk's village, possession 
of which might be retained for two years, within eight 
months from the ratification of the treaty, (February 21, 


The vSac and Fox Indians of the Missouri, by a treaty 
made the same day, October 21, 1837, (7 Stats., p. 543,) 
made the following cessions to the United States : 

"First. Of all right or interest in the country between 
the Missouri and Mississippi rivers and the boundary 
line between the Sac and Fox and the Sioux Indians, 
described in the second article of the treaty made with 
these and other tribes on the 19th of August, 1825, to the 
full extent to which said claim was recognized in the third 
article of said treaty; and of all interest or claim by virtue 
of the provisions of any treaties since made by the United 
States with the Sacs and Foxes. 

"Second. Of all the right to locate, for hunting or 
other purposes, on the land ceded in the first article of the 
treaty of July 15, 1830." 

By the treaty of October 11, 1842, (7 Stats., p. 59(i,( the 
Confederated tribes of Sacs and Foxes cede to the United 
States, forever, all the lands west of the Mississippi Eiver, 
to which they had any claim or title, or in Avhich they had 
any interest whatever; reserving, however, a right to 
occupy, for three years, all that part of the land so ceded 
situated "west of a line running due north and south from 
the painted or red rocks on the White Breast fork of the 
Des Moines River, which rocks will be found about eight 


miles, when reduced to a straight line, from the junction 
of the White Breast with the Des Moines." In another 
article of this treat.y it was agreed that there should be 
assigned "a tract of land suitable and, convenient for In- 
dian purposes, to the Sacs and Foxes for a permanent and 
perpetual residence for them and their descendants, 
which tract of land shall be upon the Missouri Eiver, or 
some of its waters." 

By the treatj^ of 1S42, the Sacs and Foxes ceded all the 
lands then remaining to them in Iowa, agreeing to remove 
therefrom hj the 11th of October, 1815. During the inter- 
val the United States was to select a home for them upon 
the Missouri or some of its waters. This was done, and 
before the last day of September, 1845, the Sacs had 
departed from Iowa. On the 8th of October the Foxes 
began their march, so by the 11th of that month the en- 
tire nation, except about 100, had actually left their for- 
mer home, and settled upon the lands selected for their 
new home in Kansas, situated upon the Kansas River, in 
contact upon two sides with lauds of partially civilized 
Indians, the Shawnees and Chippewas, in townships 16, 
17 and 18, S., ranges 13 to 18, E., inclusive. The Sacs and 
Foxes of the Missouri had previously removed from Iowa 
to a tract of land assigned them, with the Iowa tribe of In- 
dians, by the 2d article of the treaty of September 17, 
1836, (7 Stats., p. 513,) it being the small strip of land in 
Kansas and Nebraska on the south side of the Missouri 
River, lying between the Kickapoo northern boundary line 
and the great Xemalia River, and extending from the Mis- 
souri back and westerly with the said Kickapoo line and 
the great Nemaha, making four hundred sections; to be 
divided between the lowas and the Missouri band of Sacs 
and Foxes, the lower half to the Sacs and Foxes, the upper 


half to the lowas. This branch of the Sac aud Fox Nation 
continues to occupy a portion of this I'eservation, and its 
members liave had lauds alloted in severalty. The 
other branch of the Sac and Fox Indians have since sold 
their lands in Kansas and are now residing in what was 
known as the Sac and Fox reservation in Oklahoma Ter- 
ritory, where they have been assigned lands in severalty, 
for which patents have been issued. There is a band of this 
latter branch of Indians located in Tama County, Iowa, 
Avho have purchased lauds amounting to nearly three 
thousand acres, the title of which is in the Governor of the 
state, in trust for said baud of Indians. 

The census of the Sacs aud Foxes of the Missouri in 
1894 was ST persons; that of the Sacs and Foxes of the 
Mississippi, in 1894, in Oklahoma, was 512, aud in Iowa, 
392. So much for the Sacs and Foxes. 

With respect to the Iowa tribe of Indians, it was 
agreed to and understood that the loAvas had a just claim 
to a portion of the country between the boundary line 
defined in the 2d article of the treaty of August 19, 1825, 
(7 Stats., p. 272,) hereinbefore described, between the Mis- 
souri and the Mississippi, to be held and peaceably occu- 
pied b.y said Nations of Indians until some satisfactory 
arrangement could be madebetween them for a division of 
their respective claims to the countr,y. Although no divis- 
ion appears to have been definitely arranged, so far as I 
have beeu able to examine, yet on a map of Iowa, pub- 
lished in "Tanner's Atlas of the United States," by Gary & 
Hart, Philadelphia, in 1843, the divisional boundary be- 
tween the lowas aud the Sacs aud Foxes is designated as 
the Des Moines River and the Raccoon River, a branch of 
the Des Moines, the Sacand Foxesretaining the laud north 
and east, aud the loAvas that south and west of said bound- 


ary. Be this as it may, the matter was finally disposed of 
when the lowas and the Sac and Fox Nation of Indians, 
with others, by the treaty of July 15, 1830, (7 Stats., p. 
32S,) heretofore referred to and quoted, ceded and relin- 
quished to the United States forever, all their right and 
title to the lands lying west of the ridge dividing the wa- 
ters of the Des Moines and Grand rivers, and more particu- 
larly described on page 3 of this letter; and also by the 
treaty of November 23, 1837, (7 Stats., p. 547,) whereby the 
Iowa Indians ceded to the United States all their right 
and interest in the land ceded by the treaty- concluded 
with them and other tribes on the 15th of July, 1830, 
which they might be entitled to claim by virtue of the 
phraseology employed in the second article of said treaty; 
and by the treaty of October 19, 1838, (7 Stats., p. 568,) 
whereby the Iowa tribe of Indians cede to the United 
States : 

"All right or interest in the country between the Mis- 
souri and Mississippi rivers, and the boundary betAveen 
the Sacs and Foxes and Sioux, described in the second 
article of the treaty made with these and other tribes, on 
the 19th of August, 1825, to the full extent to which said 
claim is recognized in the third article of said treaty, and 
all interest or claim by virtue of the provisions of any 
treaties once made by the United States with the Sacs 
and Foxes of the Mississippi.'' 

By the third article of the treaty of September 17, 1836, 
(7 Stats., p. 512,) the United States assigned to the lowas, 
at the same time they assigned land to the Sacs and Foxes 
of the Missouri, the tract of country (to which they then 
removed) south of the Missouri Eiver and the great Ne- 
maha Eiver, hereinbefore referred to, the upper half being 
assigned to the lowas. Here the lowas, 179 in number in 
1891, still reside, their lands having been alloted to them 
in severalty'. 


When the Pottawattamie Indians, Avitli other tribes, 
by the treaty of September- 26, 1S33, (7 Stats., p. 431,) 
ceded to the United States all their land along the west- 
ern shore of Lake Michigan, and between this lake and the 
land ceded to the United States by the Winnebago treaty 
of September 15, 1832, the United States in part consid- 
eration of said cession agreed to grant to said Indians, 
parties to said treaty, a tract of country west of the Mis- 
sissippi, to be located as follows, viz: 

"Beginning at the mouth of Boyer's Biver on the east 
side of the Missouri Biver, thence down the said river to 
the mouth of Naudoway Biver, thence due east to the west 
line of the state of Missouri, thence along the said state 
line to the northwest corner of the state, thence east along 
the said state line to the point where it is intersected by 
the western boimdary line of the Sacs and Foxes, thence 
north along the said line of the Sacs and Foxes, so far as 
that when a straight line shall be run therefrom to the 
mouth of Boyer's Biver (the place of beginning) it shall in- 
clude five millions of acres." 

By the treaty of June 5 and 17, 1846, (9 Stats., p. 853), 
the Pottawattamies and other Indians known as the Pot- 
tawattamie Xation, ceded to the United States: 

"All the lands to which they had claim of any kind 
whatsoever, and especially the tracts or parcels of land 
ceded to them by the treaty of Chicago, and siibsequently 
thereto, and now, in whole or in part, possessed by their 
people, lying and being north of the Biver Missouri, and 
embraced in the limits of the territory of Iowa." 

By this same treaty the United States agreed to grant 
possession and title to said Nation to a tract or parcel of 
land in Kansas, containing 576,000 acres, being thirty 
miles square, and being the eastern part of the lands 
ceded to the United States by the treaty of January 14, 
1846, lying adjoining the Shawnees on the south, and the 


DeliiAvares and Hhawnees on the east, cm both sides of the 
Kansas River. These Indians have since disposed of 
their lands in Kansas by sale or allotment in severalty, 
(except a portion held in common by the Prairie band), 
and snch as did not remain on allotments, etc., removed to 
the thirty-mile square tract in Oklahoma territory, which 
has been allotted in severalty and patents issued, and the 
remainder of the land sold. 

The census of the Pottawattamies in 1894, iu Okla- 
homa, is 627, and of the Prairie band in Kansas is 554. 
The Otoes, now in Oklahoma Territory, made claim to 
a portion of land upon the Missouri east and south of the 
Sioux and Sac and Fox boundary line, which was recog- 
nized by the 4th article of the treaty of August 19, 1825, 
which right they subsequently ceded to the United States 
by the treaty of July 15, 1830, (7 Stats., p. 328). 

The remainder of the state north of the boundary line 
between the Sioux and the Sac and Foxes detiued in the 
treat};' of August 19, 1825, (Stats., p. 272), was then 
claimed and occupied by the Medawakantou, Wahpa- 
coota, Wahpeton and Sisseton bands of Sioux Indians, 
wdio, by the 4th article of the treaty of July 15, 1830, (7 
Stats., p. 329,) ceded to the United States forever a tract 
of country twentj^ miles in width, from the Mississippi to 
the Des Moines rivers, situated north and adjoining the 
aforesaid boundary line, and by the treatj'^ of August 5, 
1851, (10 Stats., p 954,) ceded all their lands and all their 
right, title and claim to any lands whatever, in the ter- 
ritory of Minnesota, or in the state of Iowa. 

The tract of country, twenty miles in width ceded to 
the United States by the Sac and Fox Indians described 
in the 2d Article, and a similar tract of countrj^ twenty 


miles in widtli, adjacent to the above, ceded to tlie 
United States by the Medawakanton and other bands of 
Sioux, described in the 3d Article of the treaty of Jnly 
15, 1830 (7 Stats., p. 329) was known and designated as the 
"Neutral Ground." In 1831-32 some of the Winnebago 
Indians then east of the Mississippi, unwisel.y connected 
themselves with the Black Hawk War. At its close, 
which Avas exclusively on Winnebago ground, they were 
compelled to cede all their remaining lands in Wisconsin 
lying south of the \Msconsin and Fox rivers and to accept 
in lieu thereof lands west of the Mississippi in Iowa, being 
a portion of said "Neutral Ground." 


By the 2d Article of the treaty of September 15, 1832 
(7 Stats., p. 370) the United States in exchange for their 
land in AVisconsin granted them so much of the "Neutral 
Ground" as was embraced within the following described 
limits, viz: 

"Beginning on the west bank of the Mississippi liiver, 
twenty miles above the mouth of the upper loway Kiver, 
Avliere the lines of the lands purchased of the Sioux 
Indians, as described in the tliird article of the treaty of 
Prairie du (3hieu, of tlie fifteenth day of July, one thous- 


and eight hundred and thirt}', begins; theuee with said 
line, as surveyed and marked, to the eastern branch of the 
lied Cedar Creek; thence down said creek fortj- miles, in 
a straight line, but following its windings, to the line of 
purchase, made of the Sac and Fox tribes of Indians as 
designated in the second article of the above recited 
treaty; and thence along the southern line of said last 
mentioned purchase to the Mississippi, at the point 
marked by the surveyor, appointed by the President of 
the United States, on the margin of said river; and thence 
up said river to the place of beginning."' 

The Winnebagoes, though stipulating to remove to the 
west of the Mississippi in the summer of 1833, they re- 
mained in Wisconsin, until 1837, Avhen they again entered 
into treaty stipulations to remove west and by their treaty 
of November 1, 1837 (7 Stats., Si-l) they relinquished their 
right to occupy, except for hunting, that portion of the 
"Neutral Ground" held by them, lying between the Mis- 
sissippi River and a line drawn from a point twenty miles 
distant therefrom on the southerly boundary of the "Neu- 
tral Ground" to a point equi-clistant from the river on the 
northern boundary thereof. 

In October, 1839, the Governor of Iowa reported that 
an exploring i:)arty of AViunebago Indians had arrived in 
that territory that spring to the great alarm of Keokuk, 
the head Sac Chief, who complained of the movement and 
requested that the Winnebagoes be sent south of the Mis- 
souri. The Winnebagoes themselves were averse to re- 
moval either to the "Neutral Ground" or to the South, and 
their emigration in 1840 had to be enforced by General 
Atkinson, who eventuall,y extended the time to the spring 
of 1841. 

In 1846, the removal of the Winnebagoes to a tract of 
country north of the St. Peter River on the upper Missis- 
sippi was set on foot, and by the 2d Article of the treaty 



of October 13, 1846 (9 8tats., p. 878), the Wiuneba^oes 
ceded aud sold to the United States all their title, claim 
and privilege, to all lands Avherever situated then or here- 
tofore occupied or claimed by them within the states and 
territories of the United vStates, especially the "Neutral 
Ground" AA'hich had been assigned them by the treaty of 
September 15, 1832; the United States agreeing by the 
3rd Article of the said treaty of 1846, to purchase and give 
to the "Winnebagoes, as their home, a tract of country not 
less than 800,000 acres north of the St. Peter and west of 
the Mississippi, the Indians agreeing to remove thence 
within one year after the ratification of the treaty (which 
was proclaimed February 4, 1847). 



THE most distinguished Indian chief connected with 
tlie liistory of Iowa, no doubt, was Black Hawlc. 
The ancestors of the generation of Sacs and Foxes, 
which were contemporaneous with Blacli Hawk, had far 
back in the past exchanged a comparatively inhospitable 
region for a more congenial home where they fondly 
hoped to remain undisturbed by the pale-face intruders. 
They had maintained successful war against the allied 
tribes of the Illinois country; against the haughtj^ and 
warlike Sioux; had conquered the lowas and defied the 
power of the Osages. They looked with distrust upon 
the advances of the white men, and when in 1804, at St. 
Louis, some four or five of their chiefs and braves sold a 
large portion of their richest lands they were much dis- 
satisfied. In 1805 the country was explored by Lieuten- 
ant Pike, and a few years later Fort Edwards and Fort 
Madison, in Iowa, were established. Fort Armstrong- 
was located in Rock Island in 1816 and whites soon began 
to make their appearance on Rock River, in Illinois. A 
few miles from the new fort was situated the village of 
Black Hawk and his band. Though not a chief hj heredi- 
tary right as a brave he had acquired much influence over 
a (-(msiderable portion of the Sac tribe, avIio adhered to 
him in the determination to yield their country to the 
whites. The Government sold a few tracts of land near 
Black Hawk's village and the removal of the Indians west 
of the Mississippi was demanded, although this was not 
in accordance with the terms of the treatv. The Indians 


bad a right to remain in possession of and hunt upon the 
lands not sold to settlers by the Government. 

There were a number of other causes leading up to the 
late war and the white men were not blameless. An 
adopted son of Black Hawk was wantonly murdered in 
ISIJ: on the east side of the river not far from Fort Madi- 
son. This greatly exasperated Black Hawk, and gather- 
ing a band of some thirty braves he sought revenge. 
They killed several whites and were subsequently de- 
feated with a detachment of U. S. rangers from Fort How- 
ard. Black Hawk and the survivors of his band then re- 
turned to their village, and though peace was declared 
between the United States and Great Britain in 1815, this 
baud continued restless and aggressive. Black Hawk 
assisted in the capture of Prairie du Chien in ISIG, and 
also led an attack against men and boats ascending the 
Mississippi, in which several were killed and Avounded. 
Soon after this Black Hawk with others went to St. Louis 
and entered into another treaty with the United States. 

Other grievances occurred, but Keokuk and other 
chiefs made an agreement to move to the west side of the 
river, and most of the Sacs and Foxes made a new home 
on the Iowa Elver. Black Hawk, however, refused to 
move and used all his influence to keep his peojile upon 
the east side. He denounced Keokuk and his folloAvers 
as cowards. This trouble was continued for several 
years, until finally in 1831 open hostilities came. Gen. 
Gaines, commanding the U. S. troops, on June 7, after a 
council, informed the Indians they must remove or he 
would use force. In June 1,G00 Illinois militia came to 
Rock Island to assist the regulars. On June 30, a treaty 
was signed by which Black Hawk agreed to move to the 
west side of the river and not return without permission. 
Black Hawk removed as agreed upon, but continued rest- 


less. Other troubles occurred. In the spring of 1832 
in expectation of help from the British and other Indians, 
Black Hawk assembled his warriors and again crossed to 
the east side. Gen. Atkinson ordered him to return and 
he refused, and Gov. Reynolds again called out the Illinois 
militia. The first collision occurred some thirty miles 
up Rock River, where a fight occurred between the Indians 
and the militia under Major Stillman, the latter retreat- 
ing. War was now on, and there was great excitement. 
A number of frontier families were massacred and several 
taken captive. By July Black Hawk had a force esti- 
mated at 700 or 800 warriors, and proceeded towards 
the Wisconsin River. On July 21 they were overtaken by 
the troops of Gen. Atkinson, under the immediate com- 
mand of Gen. Dodge. A battle followed and the Indians 
were defeated and scattered, having more than one hun- 
dred killed, drowned and wounded. This virtually ended 
the war. Black Hawk saw all was lost and sought, with 
his band, to reach the Mississippi River. They reached it, 
but before crossing were again attacked by Gen. Dodge's 
troops and about 150 of them killed. Black Hawk made 
his escape, but in a few days was captured by some Win- 
nebagoes and on August 27 was delivered to Gen. Street, 
the Indian agent at Prairie du Chien The prisoners were 
placed in custody of Col. Zachary Tajdor and in Septem- 
ber Black Hawk and a few others were taken to Jefferson 
Barracks, near St Louis. So ended the Black Hawk 
war, which cost the lives of between four hundred and 
five hundred Indians, including men, women and children, 
nearly two hundred whites, and the United States about 
two millions of dollars. 

Under the treaty of 1832 Black Hawk, his two sons, his 
lieutenant, Ne-o-pope (Soup), and Wobokieshick were to 
be held as hostages at the pleasure of the President. They 


were first held at Jefferson Barracks, and in April, 1833, 
were taken to Washington, where thej- had an interview 
with President Jackson. April 26 they were taken to For- 
tress Monroe, where they were held nntil June 4, when 
they were ordered liberated. Under the escort of Major 
John Garland, of the U. S. army, they were taken to Nor- 
folk, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Albany, Buffalo 
and other cities, in each of which quite an ovation was 
given "Gen. Black Hawk." They finally reached Fort 
Armstrong, at Kock Island. Messengers were sent out 
and at the appointed time Keokuk and all the chiefs and 
warriorsassembledthere to meet their great deposed chief. 
A great council was held and the message of the President 
given that hereafter Keokuk wcmld be regarded as the 
principal chief, and he wished Black Hawk to confirm the 
mandate. This stung Black Hawk, who angrily replied, 
but subsequently, through Keokuk, made a half apology 
for his words. For a time he made his home near Keo- 
kuk's village on the Iowa River. In 1837, by courtesy and 
not as a delegate, he was permitted to accompany Keokuk 
and other chiefs to Washington and through many of the 
cities of the East, Upon his return Black Hawk with his 
family settled in Lee county, and in the spring of 1838 
moved to the vicinity of the villages of the other chiefs of 
the Sacs and Foxes on the Des Moines Eiver, near lowa- 
ville. Here he had a comfortable cabin, furnished in 
imitation of the whites, and cultivated some acres of 
ground. Unlike other chiefs of his tribe he never had 
but one wife. He died at this home of fever October 3, 
1838, at about the age of seventy-two. 

His body Avas buried near the Des Moines River in Davis 
county. He was dressed in the full military uniform pre- 
sented him by President Jackson, and upon his breast 
was placed three silver medals which had been given to 


him. At his feet a flagstaff! was placed, from which 
floated a beautiful silk American flag. It was hoped 
the remains of the aged chief would here repose in peace. 
But it was not toi be. A scoundrely doctor living near, 
stole the bodj' and afterwards took it to Quincy, Illinois. 
Complaint was made by the widow and through the efforts 
of Grovernor Lucas the bones were returned to Burling- 
ton, the then capital of the territory. Later the building 
in which they were was destroyed by fire and the bones 
of Black Hawk were totally consumed — destroyed and 
scattered to the winds as have been his people. 


As Keokuk, the head chief of the Sacs and Foxes, is 
connected to more extent with the early history of Polk 
county, it will not be out of place to here give a brief 
sketch of his life and character. This name Keokuk 
meant the Watchful Fox. He was of the Sac tribe and 
was born about the year 1780 near Eock River, Illinois. 
He was less renowned as a warrior than Black Hawk, 
but as an orator and diplomatist excelled him or any other 
of his tribe. He was not a hereditary chief, but attained 
his elevation by the early manifestation of those qualities 
which commanded the admiration of his people. Though 
imputations may have been cast upon his bravery by envi- 
ous and ambitious rivals and foes, there is is no doubt he 
was free from cowardice. In his early career he perform- 
ed several striking warlike deeds which brought him a 
great reputation among his people. Without bravery he 
never could have reached the rank he did among his 
friends and foes. He also showed on several occasions 
much military skill in battles with Indians hostile to his 
tribe or nation. 

In the contest between the United States and Black 


Hawk and a portion of his tribe, Keokuk, with a majority 
of Sacs and Foxes, held aloof, though every possible ef- 
fort was made by Black Hawk and others to induce them 
to join in the hostilities. Emissaries were sent among 
Keokuk's adherents to induce them to take ipart in the 
war, and at one time it seemed almost impossible for Keo- 
kuk, with all his eloquence and influence, to restrain them 
from entering upon the war path. Black Hawk's mes- 
sengers spoke of the blood which had been shed; of the 
injustice of the whites in driving them fi'om their hunting 
grounds, and of the injuries repeatedly inflicted upon 
their Indians; referred to the easy vengeance which 
might be inflicted upon a sparsely settled frontier, and of 
the rich booty which might be obtained. These appeals 
were not Avithout effect. They began to paint and pre- 
pare for war. The chief sympathized with his people, but 
he clearl}^ saw what would be the ultimate result of such 
action. In a speech to his assembled warriors he said: 

"Braves: I am your chief; it is my duty to rule you as 
a father at home, and lead you to war if you are deter- 
mined to go, but in this war there is no middle course. 
The United States is a great power, and unless we conquer 
that great nation we must perish. I will lead you against 
the whites on one condition; that is, that Ave shall flrst 
put all our Avomen and children to death, and then resolve 
that having ci'ossed the Mississippi Ave shall never return, 
but perish among the graves of our fathers rather than 
yield to the Avhite man." 

These words, and the desperation of Keokuk's proposal, 
forced his people to take a true vieAv of the situation. 
Their passions were allayed. The authority and influ- 
ence of Keokuk Avas restored, and Black Hawk's emis- 
saries failed in his purpose. Keokuk's men took no part 
in that Avar, Avhich ended so disastrously to Black HaAvk 
and his bands. 


Keokuk avoided another trouble with the whites in 
1832. Five of his men, one of them his nepliew, murdered 
a man named Martin in Illinois. The authorities de- 
manded the}' be delivered up for trial, but they were be- 
yond his reach. He called a council of his head men to 
determine what should be done. If satisfaction was not 
made the whites would send an army. Four young men 
of the tribe then volunteered tO' go in tlhe places of the 
absent guilty ones. They were duly delivered up. When 
the trial came Keokuk was himself present and testified 
that the prisoners were not the guilty ones, but had vol- 
untarily taken their places. As a matter of course they 
were acquitted. 

After the Black Hawk war it was reported the Sacs and 
Foxes were dissatisfied and disposed to renew hostilities. 
Keokuk was then well up the Des Moines valley when he 
heard the rumor, and dictated a letter and had it forward- 
ed to Governor Reynolds, of Illinois, stating there was no 
truth in the report; that thej^ were friendly to the whites; 
that "the tomahawk was buried so deep that it never 
again will be raised against the whites." This letter 
was dated: "Raccoon Fork of Des Moines River (now city 
of Des Moines), November 30, 1832." This was some 
ten years prior to the establishment of a military post 
here, and shows this to have been for many years a fa- 
vorite camping and hunting ground for the Indians and 
especially of the Sacs and Foxes. 

Keokuk, with a deputation of Sac and Fox chiefs and 
warriors, visited Washington in the autumn of 1837. 
There they met a delegation of Sioux chiefs, and the Sec- 
retary of War endeavored to effect a reconciliation be- 
tween these long time enemies, and a nominal truce was 
established, after eloquent and somewhat bitter speeches 


had been made by Keokuk and others of the Indians. 
Keokuk and his band then made an extended tour of 
northern and eastern cities, where they were shown 
much attention by prominent oflicials and citizens. At 
Boston they were received with great ceremony by the 
Governor of the state and the city officials. Keokuk was 
the main spokesman of the party and won much praise for 
his eloquence and dignity. Throughout his entire visit 
Keokuk preserved the gravity and dignity of manner be- 
coming his high position and won the respect and admira- 
tion of all who saw him. 

Under the treaty of 1832, commonly known as the 
"Black Hawk Purchase," a tract of four hundred square 
miles on the Iowa River was reserved for the use and oc- 
cupancy of the Indians. This reserve included Keokuk's 
village and was known as "Keokuk's Eeserve." The vil- 
lage was situated on the border of Keokuk Lake, and 
about six miles below the present city of Muscatine. In 
1836 this was ceded to the United States, and the Indians 
removed to the Des Moines River, Keokuk fixing his resi- 
dence near the trading post at lowaville. Years after 
the remains of the earthen embankment which had been 
thrown up around Keokuk's lodge was visible. The 
enclosure was elliptical in form, with an opening, or gate- 
way, on the south side towards the river. It was ninety 
feet north and south, by one hundred and sixty feet long- 
east and west. These dimensions indicate that the lodge 
of the great chief of the Sacs and Foxes was no insignifi- 
cant affair. Here one of Keokuk's sons, about nineteen 
years of age, died while his father was in Washington, and 
was buried with the usual Indian rites. His death was a 
sore grief to the father. A year or two afterwards Keo- 
kuk removed his principal village further up the river 


to near the mouth of Sugar Creek, not far from the site of 
the present city of Ottumwa. 

AYhile in this village Keokuk received an invitation to 
visit Nauvoo, from Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, 
Avho was then building up that famous "City of the 
Saints." Keokuk was addressed as the "King of the Sacs 
and Foxes" by Smith. Keokuk concluded to accept the 
invitation, and accordingly proceeded to Nauvoo, attend- 
ed hj many of his chiefs and braves, all mounted on isonies 
in grand style. They were given an audience in the Mor- 
mon Temple. The prophet made a speech in which he 
referred to the children of Israel and the lost tribes, en- 
deavoring to impress upon the mind of Keokuk the idea 
that the Indians were the identical lost tribes, and that 
such was the fact that had been revealed to him. Keo- 
kuk listened attentively and then shrewdly replied: 

"If my brother is commissioned by the Great Spirit to 
collect our lost tribes together and lead them into a land 
flov/ing with milk and honey it is his duty to do so. But 
I wish to ask about some particulars that my brother has 
omitted. They are of great importance to my people. 
The Ked Man is not much used to milk. They prefer 
streams of water, and in the country where they live there 
is a good supply of honey. The points which we wish to 
inquire about are whether the new government will pay 
large annuities, and whether there will be plenty of 

This plain talk broke off all further negotiations be- 
tween the "Prophet of the Lord" and the "King of the 
Sacs and Foxes," and the latter returned to their villages 
on the l")es Moines. 

The last move made in Iowa by Keokuk was the location 
of his lodge and village on the west side of the river, some 
ten miles below the present city of Des Moines, and near 


the mouth of North River. This is now kno^Yn as Keo- 
kuk Prairie, and here the now aging chief had his habita- 
tion until his final removal to Kansas. As it was known 
that this was to be only a temporary resting place prior to 
their final removal from the territory their village was not 
as well built as had previously been their custom. Keo- 
kuk himself was a frequent visitor at the agency and trad- 
ing posts then located here, and it is said became more 
than ever addicted to the intemperate use of intoxicating 
liquors. He, however, continued to hold his place and 
much of his influence with his people, though he had bit- 
ter enemies among those left of Black Hawk's special 
friends and what was known as the "British Band." 

Keokuk led his people west to Kansas in 1845, where 
he died three years later. In June, 1848, the St. Louis 
papers announced his death, stating he died from the ef- 
fects of poison administered by one of his tribe. The 
Indian who committed the deed was apprehended, con- 
fessed his guilt, and was shot. Keokuk left a son who 
arose to some prominence in the tribe. 

Some years ago Dr. T. K. Brooks, who for years was a 
highly esteemed resident of this county, town and city, 
told the writer he was present at a council held at the 
agency, at which Keokuk and a number of other Indians 
were present. Major Beach, the agent, pursuant to or- 
ders from Washington, made a speech in which he told 
how good the Great Father at Washington was to his In- 
dian children, and to aid theiu in living happily had sent 
to them as presents a number of plows, harrows, hoes, etc., 
to be used in the cultivation of the land. He urged them 
to plant and soav that they might reap, etc. The agent 
knew tlie character and habits of the Indians too well to 
suppose they Avould feel in the least grateful for such 


presents and advice, and whispered to the doctor to listen 
and see how the Indians would speak and act. After a 
wait of some time in silence Keokuk arose and made a 
speech which in eloquence and dignity the doctor consid- 
ered seldom equalled by the greatest of white orators. 
He said in substance: "Our people once owned all this 
beautiful land, free to hunt and go wherever 'they might 
will. They were happy. And then the whites came and 
forced them from place to place, took all their lauds, and 
now, the great White Father wants them to dig like moles 
in the ground.'' It is hardly necessary to say this council 
was not a success, and the Indians failed to show any 
gratitude whatever foi* the presents so ostentatiously 
given. They were not the kind of presents desired. 


There is a band of Indians yet lingering in Iowa whose 
history is to some extent connected with that of Polk 
county. They are a remnant of the Sacs and Foxes and 
now own and occupy something less than one thousand 
acres of valuable land on the Iowa Eiver in Iowa county. 
They are generally called Musquakies, and for many years 
have made occasional visits to Des Moines and camped, to 
fish and hunt along the streams of Polk couut3^ In fact 
they are the only Indians ever seen by perhaps nine-tenths 
of the present citizens of the countj'. Before the whites 
came the favorite home and hunting ground of the Mus- 
quakies was along the Iowa River. When the main body 
of the Sacs and Foxes were removed to their new home 
west of the Missouri Eiver these Musquakies accompanied 
the balance of the tribe. As early as 1850 a small band, 
mostly Pottawattamies, under the leadership of Che- 


meuse (Johnny Green) had wandered back and took up 
their abode on the Iowa Kiver, not far from the present 
Musquakie village. They were again removed under 
military escort, but persisted in returning in small bands 
as before. It was not long until a portion of the Fox 
(Musquakie) branch of the Sac and Fox nation became dis- 
satisfied with their Kansas home. They claimed the cli- 
mate did not agree with them and that many of their peo- 
ple had sickened and died. 

At the time of the allotment of lands in severalty to the 
Sacs and Foxes some of them, headed by the chief, Mow- 
me-wah-ne-kah, were bitterly opposed to it. They refus- 
ed to be enrolled and for this the chief was deposed. He 
induced five or six lodges to follow and left Kansas for 
their old home in Iowa. He was subsequently joined by 
other members of his tribe and with them came also some 
Pottawattamies to join their friends under Chemeuse. 
Their pro rata share of the government annuity was with- 
held from them because of their disobedience, and they 
received no aid whatever from the Government. They 
were wretchedly poor, and eked out a bare subsistence 
cultivating where they could get that privilege from 
white men a few small patches of land, by fishing, hunting 
and trapping in winter and by begging. They suffered 
much but clung tenaciously to their old home. Finally 
attention was called to their suffering condition and in 
1867 Congress passed a bill granting them their annuities 
"so long as they are peaceful and have the assent of the 
government of Iowa to reside in that state." The Gen- 
eral Assembly of Iowa promptly gave the required assent. 

Under the act of Congress a special agent Avas appoint- 
ed to look after their welfare, and at their own request 
.'if2,000 of their money was devoted to the purchase of a 


small tract of land in Tama county, avMcIi has subsequent- 
ly been largely added to. These lands on the Iowa River 
bottom are now quite valuable and are on the line of the 
Chicago and Northwestern railway. They cultivate a 
portion of this land, and rear considerable stock, especi- 
ally horses. They are much attached to their Iowa home, 
and in the summer go in small par-ties hunting and fish- 
ing along the Iowa, Skunk, Des Moines andRaccoon rivers. 
They are very peaceable and seldom have any trouble 
with the whites. In a few instances they have complain- 
ed to their agent of trespass by some of the whites. Ef- 
forts have been made to educate them, but these have not 
been very successful, though some of the younger have 
learned to read and write. Most of the men still retain in 
part the Indian costume of their ancestors, the blanket 
being indispensable, winter and summer. They prefer 
the primitive moccasin, but a few of them wear shoes and 
hats, the latter usually decorated with a feather, indica- 
tive of the warrior's standing as a brave or as a hunter. 
About the village the women generally dress in petticoats 
and sacks, but always take their blankets when they visit 
the neighboring towns. On such occasions they gener- 
ally ride their ponies and take their pappooses (babies) 
along if they have anj. In this case the pappoose is strap- 
ped in a basket to the back of an extra pony. Several 
families usually live together, occupying the same wig- 
wam. As families they maintain amiable relations, and 
deny the practice of polygamy. The women are exem- 
plary in their deportment, modest and chaste. The chil- 
dren are kept under good discipline, and brought iq) to 
do strictly right according to their views. If a child 
disobeys its parents it is punished by fasting, and not by 
the rod, as the exercise of such physical force by the 
strong over the weak would not only degrade the child but 


the parent also. They take good care of the sick, the 
aged, crippled and blind. 

The Musquakies still maintain the ancient rites, cere- 
monies and superstitions of their race, and strictly follow 
the traditions handed doAvn from their forefathers. They 
are very proud of their race, independent in feeling and 
tenacious of their liberty. 

On March 21), 1880, Kes-co, an aged Musquakie woman 
died in camp near Mitchellville in this county, at the age, 
it is claimed, of 101. She w^as buried with the usual In- 
dian care and rites near where she died. 

The principal chief of the Musquakies, Maw-mo-wah- 
ne-kah, died July 3, 1881, aged about forty-five years and 
was succeeded by Maw-taw-a-qua and Wau-co-mo. 

Although not a Musquakie, perhaps no Indian has been 
better known among the whites of Iowa of later days than 
the old chief Chemeuse, or "Johnny Green," as he was 
generally called by whites. He was an Indian of full 
blood, but of Pottawattamie and Chippewa parentage, 
his mother being of the latter tribe. He first came to 
Iowa from Wisconsin in 1838, with five or six families 
of mixed Pottawattamies, a remnant of whom still reside 
on the Iowa Eiver in the vicinity of the Musquakie village. 
While the Pottawattamies occupied southwestern Iowa 
and the Winnebagoes the "Neutral Ground," Johnny 
Green generally had a large following, but after the re- 
moval of those tribes his band dwindled to a small rem- 
nant which he left on the banks of the Iowa River, iu 
Marshall county. Long before the Musquakies had re- 
turned to Iowa Johnny Green had wandered back with 
his followers. Living iu the vicinity of the Musquakie 
village, and the two remnants of distinct tribes being 
much together, Johnny Green was erroneously called by 


the white people the "Old Musquakie Chief." We know 
little of his early history, but many people throughout 
central Iowa still remember the pleasant, kindly face 
of the old chief Avho led a nomadic life, encamping with 
his little band along the various streams during the hunt- 
ing season. He was always the white man's friend and 
had no enemies among them. One of his daughters is 
married to a Musquakie and lives in Tama county. He 
died near Marshalltown about Christmas, 1868, and was 
supposed to be about seventy-three years of age. Fulton, 
in his Histoiy of the Eed Men of Iowa, says of this old 

"We know not what heroic acts of his are unrecorded, 
or what generous and noble impulses may have nerved 
him to action in behalf of his nation or tribe. The 
dust of thousands of nameless heroes enrich the soil up- 
on which we tread. 'Johnny Green' was doubtless wise 
enough to foresee the inevitable destiny that awaited his 
race, and we know he was gxeat enough to lead his exiled 
people back to their favorite land. We know, too, that he 
was great enough to assist in securing to them that con- 
cession from the whites by which the}^ yet retain a home 
in Iowa." 



A UNITED States frontier Post, located on the Right bank 
OF THE Mississippi River, at the Mouth of the Des Moines, 
Near the Site of what is now the Town of Keokuk, iowa. 

THE establishment of a military post at this point 
was an outcome of the Act of Congress (1833) which 
provides for the better defense of the frontier, hj 
the raising of a regiment of dragoons to scout the country' 
west of the Mississippi. This movement is outlined in 
the report of Secretary Cass, dated November 29, 1833, 
accompanying the President's Annual Message. He 
says : 

"The act for the better defense of the frontier by rais- 
ing a regiment of dragoons, is in the process of execution. 
About six hundred men have been enlisted and most of 
the officers ,ap]3ointed, and five of the companies have 
been ordered to proceed to Fort Gibson, upon the Arkan- 
sas, where they will be stationed during the winter. The 
remainder of the regiment will be concentrated at Jeffer- 
son Barracks this season, and it is intended in the spring 
to order the whole to proceed through the extensive In- 
dian regions between the western boundaries of Missouri 
and Arkansas and the Eocky Mountains. It is deemed 
indispensable to the peace and securitj^ of the frontier 
that a respectable force should be displayed in that quar- 
ter, and that the wandering and restless tribes who roam 
through it should be impressed with the power of the 
United States by the exhibition of a cor]:)s so well qualified 
to excite their respect. These Indians are beyond the 
reach of a mere infantry force. Without stationary resi- 
dences, and possessing an abundant supply of horses, and 
with habits admirably adapted to their use, they can be 
held in check only by a similar force, and bv occasional 



1. Flagstaff. 

2. Officers' Quarters. 

3. Soldiers' Barracks. 

4. Stables. 

5. Hospital. 

6. Guard House. 

7. Corrals and Hay Yards. 

8. Gardens. 

g. Government Road, 

10. Scott's Farm House. 

11. Lower Ford, or Ferry. 

12. Upper Ford. 

Ewing's Trading House was on east side at the Upper Ford. 

Phelps' Trading House was east of River, near extreme lower left hand corner of plit. 


display among them. Almost every year has witnessed 
some outrage committed by them upon our citizens, and, 
as many of the Indian tribes from the country this side 
of the Mississippi have removed and are removing to that 
region, we may anticipate their exposure to these preda- 
tory incursions, unless vigorous measures are adopted to 
repel them. We owe protection to the emigrants, and it 
has been solemnly promised to them; and this duty can 
only be fulfilled by repressing and punishing every at- 
tempt to disturb the general tranquility. Policj' and 
humanity equally dictate this course; and there is reason 
to hope that the display of this force will itself render 
unnecessary its hostile employment." 

In the execution of this project. Col. Henry Dodge, with 
nine companies of the regiment of dragoons, left Fort Gib- 
son on the 15th of June, 1834, and entered upon the fated 
expedition to the Pawnee country which resulted in the 
death of Gen. Leavenworth and so large a number of his 
officers and men from sickness incident to the climatic 
changes, that reorganization of the regiment was render- 
ed necessary, as well as its transfer to more northern lati- 
tudes. Accordingly^ on the return of the expedition to 
Fort Gibson, four companies under Col. Dodge were 
marched to Fort Leavenworth on the Missouri; three un- 
der Major Mason, to a point on the Arkansas about eighty 
miles above Fort Gibson, and the remainder, under Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Kearney to the region of the Des Moines. 
By orders from the War Department, dated May 19, 1834, 
the regiment of dragoons were ordered "to take up their 
winter quarters in the following positions : 

"Lieutenant Colonel Kearney, with three companies, 
viz: Sumner's, Boone's and Browne's on the right bank 
of the Mississippi, Avithin the Indian country near the 
mouth of the Des Moines." 

A short rest at Gibson pending the convalescence of the 


sick list, delaj^ed the movements of Colonel Kearney, until 
the season had been well advanced, although a quarter- 
master's force had left Jefferson Barracks early in the 
summer to select the site and lay the foundation for the 
buildings. On September 2, he writes from Camp Caring- 
ton, near Fort Gibson, "I shall leave here to-morrow with 
Companies B, H and I, U. S. dragoons for the Des Moines, 
crossing the Missouri River at Booneville (Missouri)," ad- 
ding, "I have to request that a name be given for the new 
post at the Des Moines, and that it may be considered as 
a double ration one." The force which left Fort Gibson 
on the 3rd of September, 1834, for the Des Moines, under 
the command of Lieutenant Colonel Stephen W. Kearney, 
consisting of Company B, of the regiment dragoons, Cap- 
tain E. V. Sumner and Second Lieutenant J. H. K. Berg- 
win; Company H, Avhich owing to the absence of Ca])tain 
Boone and Lieutenant Schaumburgh, who had been left 
sick at (ribson, was also commanded by Captain Sumner; 
Company I, Captain J. B. Browne and Brevet Second 
Lieutenant A. G. Edward, together with an aggregate of 
107 non-commissioned officers, musicians and privates. 
First Lieutenant George H. Grossman, of the Sixth In- 
fantry, accompanied the command 'as assistant quarter- 
master, while the duties of adjutant and commissary 
were performed by Lieutenant Burgwin. 

On the 26th of September, Lieutenant Colonel Kearney, 
writing from Camp Des Moines, reports his arrival, which 
occurred late the previous evening. "The quarters for the 
officers and soldiers," he complains, "are not as far ad- 
vanced as 1 had expected, and not a log is yet laid for 
stables for our horses. We shall, on the 28th, go to Avork 
with all our disposable force, and I hope by the close of 
next month we may complete the buildings, though they 


will be less comfortable and of meaner appearance than 
those occupied b}' anjr other portion of the army." He 
is yet uncertain as to the purposes for which he has been 
sent to this most isolated spot "I should like to know," 
he says, "if it is contemplated that we are to occupy this 
post after the ensuing winter, and I wish to know whether 
I am authorzied to keep away settlers from here, and how 
far I may proceed in doing so; also what is required of 
this command while stationed here." 

The winter of 1834-5 was one of unusual severity in that 
section, and it appears from Col. Kearney's frequent com- 
plaints that the command experienced no little suffering 
from uncomfortable quarters and insufficient supplies. 
Captain Boone joined his company during the winter, but 
Lieutenant Grossman having been recalled to St. Louis, all 
the administrative duty of the garrison devolved upon 
Lieutenant Burgwin. On the 1st of February, 1835, we 
find Col. Kearney again urging upon the War Depart- 
ment that a name be given to the post, which up to that 
time he had designated as merely "The Detachment 
Headquarters of the Eegiment of Dragoons, at Camp Des 
Moines, Michigan Territory." On the back of this appeal 
we find in the familiar handwriting of Mr. Secretary 

"Let the post be called 'Fort Des Moines,' and let it be a 
double ration post." 

The date and authority for the naming of the river from 
which the fort takes its name in turn is involved in much 
obscurity. On the map made by Pere Marquette in 1681, 
first found in Charlevoix's narrative published in 1743, a 
river corresponding with this is marked "le reviere des 
Moingonina," which Charlevoix refers to as Moingona, 
but there is nothing in the narrative of either of these 


eai-ly explorers to indicate the aiitliority for attacliing the 
name to this particular stream. Joliet and Marquette, as 
well as most of the early roi/ageiirs along the Mississippi, 
owed their tirst allegiance to the church; a controlling 
cause which has had the effect of tingeingmany of its laud- 
marks with names and titles of sacred subjects. If to this 
circumstance is added the probability recently advanced 
by a Canadian writer, that the Illinois country had been 
visited prior to the voyage of Joliet and Marquette, by 
two priests, it affords a satisfactory solution of the diffi- 
culty, La riviere f/e.s' Moines — ^the river of the monks, and 
not des Dioynes, as written by Wilkinson and Pike at the 
beginning of the present century. 

The War Department at no time intended the ]K)St at 
the nioutli of the Des Moines to be a permanent one, but 
rather as a point for the winter quai'ters of the Dragoon 
regiment, which was to operate in the country to the Avest- 
ward, working graduall}' to the northwest limit of our ter- 
ritory, where it was contemplated to erect a permanent 
fort. On the 11th of April, Col. Kearney reports the arri- 
val of seventy-nine recruits, increasing his force to an ag- 
gregate of 157, and urges upon the Department the desira- 
bility of keeping his command employed in the field as a 
means of discipline and instruction, of which they were 
sadlj' in need. Before the receipt of this, however, instruc- 
tions Avere already on their Avay, which combined all the 
purposes of Col. Kearnej^'s communication. Drders of 
the 9th of March, 1835, from the Adjutant Creneral's office, 
directed that : 

"The tliree companies under command of Lieutenant 
Colonel Kearney Avill proceed uj) the river Des Moines to 
the Eaccoon fork, there halt and reconnoiter the position 
Avith a view to the selection of a site for the establishment 
of a military post in that vicinity; on Avhich subject Lien- 


tenant Col. Kearney will report on his retnrn to his winter 
quarters at Fort Des Moines. After having- made this 
reconnoissance, Lieutenant Colonel Kearney will proceed 
with his command to the Sioux villages near the high- 
lands on the Mississippi about the 4:4th of north latitiule, 
thence taking a direction to the westward, return to his 
original position at the mouth of the Des Moines, passing 
by the right bank of that river." 

Colonel Kearney writes on the 5th in acknowledgement 
of these orders: "I shall leave here," he says, "on the 
7th, to execute the duties pointed out for me in Orders No. 
12. I shall take about 150 men — Company B, com- 
manded by Brevet Second Lieutenant Turner; Company 
H, by Captain Bof)ne, and Company I, by Second Lieuten- 
ant Lea. Assistant Surgeon Wright goes with us. The 
above and myself are all the officers for the march. You 
Avill see I have no staff officer. Lieutenant Burgwin I 
leave here to provide forage for the ensuing winter, and 

Captain Brown is too unwell to start with us 

I hope to return by the middle of August." 

As this expedition was charged with the duty of select- 
ing a fort, which afterwards succeeded to the name and 
honors of the post at the mouth of the river, so much of the 
report of Colonel Kearney as relates to his visit to the new 
site is subjoined. He says : 

"On the 8th (of August, 1835,) we reached the mouth of 
the Raccoon, Avhere I halted to reconnoiter the country 
with a view to the selection of a site for a militiiry post 
in that vicinity as directed by you. 

"After riding over a considerable portion of the country 
myself, and sending off officers in different directions with 
a view to the same object, I could neither see nor hear 
of any place that possessed the necessary advantages, 
nor in my opinion was suitable for the estaljlishment of a 
military post. The point of land, in the fork, at tlie junc- 
tion of the Baccoon with the Des Moines, Avould probably 


answer as well as auy other place in that vicinity. It is 
about eight feet above high water mark — a narrow strip 
of prairie commences here, but widens out as the two riv- 
ers recede. On the opposite side of the Des Moines, which 
is there about 360 feet wide and 3^- deep, being a good ford, 
is a great abundance of timber, oak, walnut, elm, ash, linn 
and Cottonwood, which would answer for building and fire- 
wood. We saw no springs near the place; wells, how- 
ever, could be dug. About a mile up the Des Moines is a 
bluft" containing stone, coal, and a small quantity of silic- 
ious limestone, but apparently not ^ nough for the neces- 
sary chimneys of a small post, nor do 1 believe it can be 
burned into lime. If a post should be established there, 
I think stone and lime must be brought to it from near 
the mouth of the north fork, a distance by land of about 
forty-five miles, and sixty by water. It is by land 150 
miles from Fort Des Moines, and 2Gfi by water to the 
mouth of the Des Moines River. 

"I caused a canoe to be made, in which Lieutenant Lea, 
with a few soldiers, descended the Des Moines, to its 
mouth, to examine the practicability of navigating it, and 
the means by which supplies could be obtained there. I 
send you his report: 'Unless some obstmctions are I'e- 
moved, the navigation of the Des Moines to the Eaccoon, 
by boats sufticiently large to carry stores, etc., for a mili- 
tary post, I am convinced will be at all times uncertain, 
and but for a very small portion of the year, practicable.' 
Lieutenant Lea thinks there are positions near the mouth 
of Cedar (ninety-six miles by water below the Raccoon) 
offering more advantages for a militai-}' post, such as 
springs, limestone, and less diificulty in navigating the 
river, than any we saw above. 

"If a post is established in that section of country, the 
officer commanding the party sent for that purpose should 
of course have discretionary power to select such place 
as may appear to him most favorable within such limits 
to distance as may be deemed uecessarj' to restrict him. 

"With the views of the Department as to the object to 
be obtained by the establishment of a military 
post at the Raccoon, I am unacquainted, but I can 
imagine nothing to make it necessary or advisable. If it 
is intended as a barrier between the Sac and Sioux, and 


thereby, put a stop to their predatory excursions against 
each other, it is unneccessary, the 'former Indians from 
what I have myself seen and heard, and by information 
gained from persons acquainted witli them, I know to be 
inclined to a permanent peace, which can be easily secured 
by some restraints imposed upon the latter. These we now 
have within striking distance, and they know and feel it. 
Their two villages on the Des Moines (Keokuk and 
Openousas,) containing the leading men of the nation, 
are within fifty-five and seventy-five miles from Fort Des 
Moines. On my return, I marched with my command 
through both of them , thus making a road from them to 
this post, convincing them they are not inaccessable to 
us, and that we can reach them when we think proper so 
to do. The Secretary of War is well acquainted with the 
Indian character, and he knows that mild measures will 
not restrain an Indian from gratifying his passions when 
provoked, or prevent him from distinction, by the taking 
of a scalp when a fair opportunity offers. If a permanent 
peace between the above nations of Indians is an object of 
much importance with the Department, I can easily effect 
it, if I can be authorized to repeat to them what in 1830, 
by order of the then Secretary of War, they were told by 
Colonel Morgan, one of the commissioners of the treaty 
held at Prairie du Chien, and if I can be further authorized 
upon the first infraction of the peace to pursue the offen- 
ders and punish them. 

"If it is not deemed expedient to grant the above au- 
thority, but a military post between the two nations still 
thought necessary, then a post at the Raccoon is not suffi- 
ciently advanced. It should be about 100 miles above 
there, viz., at the upper fork of the Des Moines, which is 
the neutral ground (a strip of forty miles) which separates 

"If a post is required on the Des Moines to protect the 
frontiers of Missouri, one at the Raccoon would be alto- 
gether too far advanced. 

"To conclude, all the Sauk Indians, (and there were 
many), who spoke to me of the probability of a military 
post being established near the Raccoon, were strongly 
and most decidedly opposed to it, giving as one of their 


objections that the whites would drive off the little game 
that is left in their conntry." 

From an inspection report of Colonel George Croghan, 
who visited the post on the 3d of December, 1835, we are 
enabled to catch a glimpse of the condition of the work at 
that time. At the time of his visit the garrison, under 
command of Lieutenant Colonel Kearney, consisted of 
Company B, Dragoons, Captain Sumner, rank and tile 59, 
with 72 animals; Captain Boone, 49 rank and file, with 68 
animals, and Company I, Captain Brown, 5() rank and 
file, with 65 animals, making a total strength of 184 oftl- 
cers and men, with 205 horses and mules. 

"The quarters," he reports, "are of a temporary char- 
acter, hastil,y constructed and of round logs. They are 
now more comfortable than they were last winter; the 
men since their return from the summer campaign having 
made in them some material and essential alterations. 
The roofs of several of the buildings are bad and leaky." 

Concerning the health of the garrison, which he regards 
as unnecessarily bad, and the hospital facilities, he says: 

"The building is comfortable, though too small to ac- 
commodate more than six or eight patients, and as there 
is but one ward, they must all be together. Its location, 
too, is bad, being near a creek, on the (tpposite side of 
which is a bottom, subject to overflow whenever the Mis- 
sissippi rises much above its ordinary level." 

On the 6th of June, 1836, Captain Sumner, with all the 
available tro(jps, left the post for the usual summer cam- 
paign, leaving the post in command of Lieutenant B. S. 
Roberts, of the Dragoon regiment, who had recently 
joined from the Military Academy. At this date the gar- 
rison had reached its greatest strength and efficiency. Its 
ofiftcers were Captains E. Y. Sumner, X. Boone and J. B. 
BroAvne, commanding tht^ir respective companies; First 
Lieutenant J. H. K. Burgwiii, of E cc»mpany, acting quar- 


termaster and commissary; Second Lientenant A. M. Lea, 
of I Company, and J. W. Scliaumburg, of H; Brevet Sec- 
ond Lieutenant J. H. Hanly, of B company, and B. S. Rob- 
erts, of n, the latter acting as post adjutant and Assistant 
Surgeon S. P. Moore with an aggregate ranlv and file of 

The resignation of Colonel Dodge, in the spring of 1836, 
promoted Lieutenant Colonel Kearney to the command of 
the regiment of Dragoons which took him to Fort Leaven- 
worth, the headquarters of the regiment, and the command 
of Fort Des Moines devolved upon Captain E. V. Sumner, 
pending the arrival of Lieutenant Colonel Mason, who 
had succeeded to the vacancy. The history of the fort up 
to this period, and in fact during its whole career, was 
uneventful. The site in every military sense had been 
badly chosen, its locality unhealthy, and to reach the 
country through which the command was expected to 
scout, involved long and tedious marches. That the post 
had been maintained so long at this point was the result 
of the delay and irresolution of the authorities in deciding 
upon the site of a point farther up the Des Moines and 
nearer the frontier, the details of which are more fully 
reported in the history of Fort Des Moines, No. 2. Be- 
yond this, the post was experiencing the inevitable diffi- 
culty that has accompanied the career of most of our 
frontier posts, the rapacity of land agents and the contin- 
uous encroachments of settlers upon the lands surround- 
ing the gaiTison. 

On the 18th of September, 1830, Colonel Mason writes 
the War Department: 

"A town has been laid off at this place and lots sold, 
which takes in ai part of our garrison. This town has 
been laid off on a tract of land which I am told was 


granted on a grant confirmed by Congress to the heirs 
of one 'Reddick.' I have none of the acts of Congress 
by me and cannot therefore more particularly point the 
act confirming the grant. You will at once perceive, 
under the circumstances, how certain it is that we must 
come in collision with the citizens of this town, who have 
already commenced to build. 

"I see by a letter of Colonel Kearney's to the Honorable 
Secretary of War, dated September 27, 1835, and his an- 
swer thereto, that some steps were about to be taken to 
have a reserve of two miles out from this post for military 
purposes. This reserve is absolutely necessary to the con- 
venience and well being of the garrison. Independent of 
the town there are other parties putting np buildings 
within the two miles, and their object is to sell Avhiskey to 
the Indians and soldiers. All thisi within the country 
given to the half-breed Sacs and Foxes. I shall be glad to 
receive specific instructions for my government, in rela- 
tion to the town and the individuals erecting buildings 
within the 'two miles' proposed as a reservation for this 

On the receipt of this it was immediately determined to 
abandon the post without delay, rather than encounter 
the conflict with the land-grasping element in the western 
section, with whom the Department had already had a 
sufficient and unpleasant experience. As a result of this 
policy. General Orders No. 71, from the Adjutant Gener- 
al's office, dated 20 October, 1836, directed that: 

"The Dragoon post of Fort Des Moines will be broken up 
without delay, and the squadron immediately proceed to 
join the headquarters of the regiment at Fort Leaven- 
worth. The Quartermaster's department will receive 
and make the proper disposition of the stores and public 
property pertaining to the post when evacuated." 

It was not, however, until the following summer that 
the arrangements necessary to an evacuation of the post 
were fully completed. Colonel Mason, who was absent on 
detached duty at St. Louis and elsewhere, remained away 


during the entire winter, the post being under the com- 
mand of Captain J. B. Brown, with Lieutenant Koberts as 
adjutant. Colonel Croghan again visited the post on the 
26th of November, 1836, and his report affords lis the last 
glimpse of the inner history of the fort. 

"There has been a good deal of sickness here this sea- 
son," he remarks, "chiefly cases of intermittent fever, but 
the number on the sick reports are lessening daily. Were 
a garrison to be continued here much longer (and I hope it 
may not) a hospital sihould be erected, the one now occu- 
pied being inconveniently arranged, too small by one-half, 
and moreover badly located, near the bank of a miry 
creek, which is stagnant during the warm months." The 
store-houses he finds are not only too small, but are in bad 
repair, open in places, and everywhere 'full of chinks and 
unsafe.' In concluding he refers to the matter already 
alluded to in the monthly report. 

"The company under orders to proceed to Fort Leaven- 
worth, is filled exclusively by selection from the entire 
command, of such soldiersi as have not less than twelve 
months to serve. It having departed, the garrison will 
then consist of the Lieutenant Colonel commandant, a cap- 
tain and a subaltern, with scarcely men enough to attend 
to the stable duties, as there will be many surplus horses 
requiring their care. And what will be the strength of 
this command by or before the close of next April? Eigh- 
teen rank and file, every other enlistment will by that 
time have terminated, and of the officers, it is believed 
that the lieutenant colonel alone will be willing to remain 
in the service after the commencement of the spring." 

The breaking-up process commenced on the 30th of Oc- 
tober, 1836, when B company left the post under the com- 
mand of Captain Sumner for Fort Leavenworth. 

This movement was not in accordance with the War 
Department order, but the carrying out of a project of the 


departineiit coiiiinauder, Geueral Atkiuson "for the bet- 
ter protection of the frontier." "i^till," writes General 
Kearney to Colonel Mason, "I do not think Company B 
will retnru to Fort Des Moines, and therefore what public 
property it may require and cannot bring with it you will 
order to be sent to St. Louis without delay, to be for- 
warded to this post (Leavenworth). 

In reporting- the departure of Sumner's company Colo- 
nel Mason adds : 

"In making the transfer ordered by the colonel, it has 
taken every man from Companies H and I, who had more 
than one year to serve, that was off the sick report, to fill 
up Companj' B. There is now left belonging to this post 
but seventy-six men, one of whom is absent in confine- 
ment, fifty-eight of Avhom will be discharged during the 
winter and early part of the spring, so that by the 15th of 
May next, there will be only eighteen enlisted men iu the 
two companies which garrison the post." 

Immediateh' on the receipt of this letter at the War 
Department, it was decided, in view of the situation set 
forth by Colonel Mason, which was supplemented a few 
days later by a report from the commandant at Fort 
Leavenworth, that the quarters at the latter post ■\A'eie in- 
snfticieut to accommodate the Fort Des Moines garrison, 
that the latter had better remain at that post during the 
winter should its commaudant not have already com- 
plied with General Orders No. 71. Orders suspending 
that nn^vement were accordingly sent to Colonel Mason, 
reaching him before he had concluded his arrangements 
to evacuate the post. 

During the most of this winter the absence of Colonel 
Mason devolved the command upon Captain Jesse B. 
Browne, of I company. Concerning this officer but little 
is known at the \\'ar Department. He entered the service 


as a captain of IJangers in 1832, was transferred to tlie 
Dragoon regiment npon its organization, and accompan- 
ied lii.s regiment to Des Moines, where all of liis service in 
tlie army was perform c-^d, lie resigning his commission the 
30th of Jnne, 1837, immediately after the abandonment of 
the post, in order to engage in civil jinrsuits. Nothing is 
known regarding his subsequent whereabouts. 

Early in the spring of 1837, Colonel Mason returned to 
the post, and on the 30th of March he addressed the War 
Department for information as to the probable duration 
of the post, in order that he may regulate his requisitions 
for the needed supplies. In this letter he remarks: 

"The town which I mentioned to you in my letter as hav- 
ing been laid out and taking in part of this post, has been 
abandoned, the title of the proprietors proving not to be 
good." Before the receipt of this letter, however, and as 
thei'e no longer existed any necessity for the keeping up 
of an establishment at this site, instructions had already 
been sent to the commanding offlcer at Jefferson Barracks 
to carry into effect the General Order No. 71, of 1836. "All 
the public propert.y, Quartermaster and Commissary 
stores will be left in charge of the Qnai'termaster's depart- 
ment, an<l be disposed of in the manner best suited for the 
public interest." 

The last official communication from Fort Des Moines 

is dated June 1st, 1837, and signed by Lieutenant Colonel 

Mason.. He writes: 

"The post is this day abandoned, and the squadron 
takes up its march for Fort Leavenworth. It has( been 
delayed until this date in order that the grass might be 
sUfflciently high to afford grazing for the horses, as corn 
cannot be had on some parts of the route." 

Of the officers who served in the command of the post, 
Lieutenant Colonels Kearney and Mason, who became sub- 
sequently distinguished in the military and political his- 
tory of the land, are treated of in the histories of other 


posts, with whose career they were more eminently asso- 
ciated. To one subaltern more than the others was en- 
trusted for a greater period the duties of adjutant, quar- 
termaster and commissary, and who, during the absence 
of the command on its summer campaigns, was in com- 
mand of the post. 

Second Lieutenant Benjamin vS. Roberts joined the gar- 
rison at Des Moines from the Military Academy imme- 
diately upon his graduation and remained with it during 
the whole duration of the post. His subsequent mili- 
tary career was most honorable, serving with high dis- 
tinction during the war with Mexico, and reaching the 
position of Lieutenant Colonel of the Third Cavalry, from 
which rank he was retired in 1870, having rendered 
nearly forty years active service in the army. He died at 
Washington, D. C, January 29, 1875. 


A United States Frontier fort, located at the Fork of the 


THE City of des Moines, Iowa. 

THE preliminary agitation and reconnoissances inci- 
dent to the location of a military post at this point 
commenced as early as 1835, or soon after the time 
when Lieutenant Colonel Kearney, with a detachment of 
the Dragoon regiment, was sent up from St. Louis to 
establish and garrison a point at the mouth of the river. 
In the summer of that year Colonel Kearney, at the head of 
a considerable expedition, followed up the valley betAveen 
the Des Moines and vSkunk, under instructions from the 
War Department to halt at the mouth of the Raccoon and 
select a site suitable for a military post. 

His report on his return, which is embodied in the 
sketch of Fort Des Moines No. 1, was unfavorable to the 
establishing of a post in that vicinity, for reasons which 
in a military sense were perhaps conclusive. In this view 
of the case, however, the War Department declined to 
join, and Colonel Croghan, the inspector general of the 
army, who was about to visit the frontier, was instructed 
to look into the matter carefiilly and report as to the ex- 
pediency of breaking up Fort Armstrong, at the mouth of 
Rock River, and transferring its garrison to a suitable 
site up the Des Moines. 

Colonel Croghan's report in the case was more diplo- 
matic than logical. Doubting the expediency in any event 


of establishing a post in that vicinity, he suggests that 
should it be decided to build, that live or six companies 
of infantry be ordered to assist in the erection of the 
necessary buildings, though "in all probability it will not 
be occupied beyond a few years." He has learned with 
much regret that a bill has been introduced in Congress 
for the laying out of a road from old Fort Des Moines to 
Fort, Leavenworth. "There is now," he remarks, "alto- 
gether too much traveling between the several forts for 
the quiet of the frontier, and good roads Avill only in- 
crease the evil by opening the whole territory to the rav- 
enous appetites of lawless vagabonds and more greedy 
land speculators. Already has this description of per- 
sons begun to talk about the tine lands on the Iowa and 
Des Moines, and perhaps before tAvo years are gone bj^ 
they will be crying aloud for new territory on that side 
of the Mississippi. First will come a memorial to Con- 
gress from Missouri, to extend her northern line until it 
shall strike the Missouri Elver; and then a new territory 
having been created an urgent effort will be made to have 
the Indians sent to the south side of the Missouri. From 
the changes that I have witnessed since my first visit to 
that section of the country, and from ]ny perfect ac- 
quaintance with the character of those frontier men, and 
of the emigrants Avho are daily adding to their number, 
I hazard nothing in predicting that in a very few years 
we will positively need and perhaps may garrison but the 
tAvo posts of iSt. Peters and Council Bluffs upon the whole 

Colonel Croghan's fears as to the advance of quasi-civ- 
ilization west of the Mississippi were singularly pro- 
phetic, for almost precisely the course of procedure out- 
lined in his repor-t of January 25, 1830, Avas developed 


within the following two years. So rapid was the west- 
ern march of emigration in this direction, that before the 
Oovernment conld fix upon a point sufficiently advanced 
whereat to build a post for the protection of the Io^va set- 
tlements, the settlements had themselves pushed forward 
until most of the country east of Fort LeaveuAvorth had 
been seized by speculators, and much was already under 
cultivation. The section immediately surrounding the 
junction of the Raccoon and Des Moines had so far 
escaped the invasion. It was, as will be seen by reference 
to the report of Colonel Kearney, before mentio]ied, a part 
of the Sac and Fox reservation, especially prized b}' those 
tribes on account of the abundance of game that fre- 
quented its resorts. These tribes, in every other respect 
friendly and peaceable, resisted with fury and war-like 
demonstrations all encroachments upon their domain. 
The strongest objection advanced by Colonel Kearney to 
the establishment of a military post at the Raccoon fork, 
was the protest of the Indians that the soldiers would 
drive off the little game that was left them. For these rea- 
sons the six or seven years following the visit of Kearny 
were years of comparative quiet to the Sacs and Foxes, 
who freely roamed the country along the Des Moines from 
its mouth to its upper fork, where the so-called "Neutral 
Ground" separated them from their relentless enemies, 
the Sioux. 

Still, it was only by reason of the stubborn determina- 
tion of the Government to protect these tribes in their 
treaty rights that this section was so long left compara- 
tively undisturbed. Settlements swarmed about the 
boundaries on every side; Congress was being flooded 
with petitions to f>pen the lands to settlement, and every 
possible pressure was being made upon the autJiorities at 


Washington to remove the Indians and occupy their terri- 
tory. In 1841 the encroacliments on the Indian domain 
had become so frequent and determined that it became 
apparent to the Government thatpro^ision must be made 
to recognize the inexorable demand of civilization which 
had crowded the red man from the shores of the Atlantic 
to beyond the Mississippi within half a century, and 
which was destined to continue its onward march until 
restrained alone by the waters of the Pacific. 

Negotiations were accordingly opened with the chiefs 
of the tribes, and on the 11th October, 1842, purchase of 
the reservation was finally effected. Still, so reluctant 
were they to leave the lands that were attached to them 
by the traditions of centuries that it was stipulated that 
they might remain yet another three years, and that in 
the meantime no white man should be allowed to settle 
on their reservation. To protect them in this stipulation, 
and to enable the Government to carry out its part of the 
treaty, it was decided by General Scott to locate a detach- 
ment of troops directly on the reservation within a few 
miles of the agency buildings, then on the Des Moines, 
about three miles below the Raccoon fork. 

The selection of this particuler site was the result of a 
visit to the spot by Captain James Allen, of the Dragoon 
regiment, whose company had for several years been sta- 
tioned between Leavenworth and Gibson, and who was 
familiar with the locality. In a letter to the War Depart- 
ment, dated Fort Sandford, Iowa, December 30, 1842, in 
referring to the expediency of protecting the Indians in 
their treaty rights, by stationing troops within their reser- 
vation, he says : 

"I went up, as you know, last month, as high as the 
mouth of the Eaccoon River, and had in view at the time to 


look out a suitable point for the stationing of troops for 
the time required. And I did select, with a view to recom- 
mend it, the point made by the junction of the Eaccoon 
with the Des Moines. 

"My reasons for selecting that point are these: 

"The soil is rich ; and wood, stone, water and grass are 
all at hand. It Avill be high enough up the river to protect 
these Indians against the Sioux, and is in the heart of the 
best part of their new country, where the greatest effort 
will be made hj the squatters to get in. It is about equi- 
distant from the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, and 
offers a good route to both, the direct route to the Missoui-i 
passing around the heads of many ugly branches of Grand 
River. It will be twenty-five miles within the new line, 
about the right distance from the settlements, and, above 
all, of the Indian villages and trading houses (all 
of the Sacs have determined to make their villages on a 
larger prairie bottom that commences about two miles 
below, and the traders have selected their sites there 
also). It will also be about the head of keel bo^t naviga- 
tion on the Des Moines. I think it better than any point 
farther up, because it Avill be harder to get supplies 
farther up, and no point or post that may be established 
on this river need be kept up more than three years, or 
until these Indians shall leave. A post for the northern 
boundary of future loway will go far above the sources 
of the Des Moines. 

"Now, as to the process of establishing this post. I do 
not seek the job, but I am willing to undertake it, if my 
suggestions for that puii)ose shall be approved. I would 
build but common log cabins, or huts, for both men and 
officers, giving them good floors, windows and doors, 
stables, very common, but close and roomy, pickets, block 
houses, and such like not at all. The buildings to be 
placed in relations of comfort, convenience and good 
taste; and of defense, so far as the same may comply with 
the first rule. 

"Ten mechanics and five laborers and four yoke of oxen 
and tools and implements, and the small material, ought 
to be furnished by the quarternvaster's department. All 


to be reaclj^ to go up and begin early in the spring. Pine 
lumber for 'tlie most necessary parts of the buildings 
ought to be sent up in keel boats in the spring rise of the 
river. Provisions and corn, etc., may be sent up at the 
same time. 

"With such means, and the force of my company, I 
could make a good, comfortable establishment at the 
mouth of the Raccoon during the next summer; and, in 
the meantime give to the Indians all necessary protection. 
One of their agents has told me that the American Fur 
company would probably send up a steamboat to Rac- 
coon on the spring rise. If they do, it will be a good time 
to send up army supplies. 

"I could easily have corn raised for me in that country 
if I could now contract for it, and permit a person to open 
a farm there. Such is the desire of the people to get a foot- 
ing in this country, that I believe that now I could hire 
corn to be raised there next summer, for 25 cents a bushel. 
I could get lumber on as good terms by allowing some one 
to build a mill. In short, there Avill be no difficulty in 
establishing and maintaining a post there, if notice of 
such a design shall be given in time. But I hope it will 
not be required of my company, that they shall build this 
new post without tlie assistance of the hired labor that I 
have suggested. I have not the necessary mechanics for 
the purpose; and if I had, it would be requiring too much 
of them. It is not competent for dragoons to build their 
quarters and stables; and get their wood and do their duty 
as soldiers. 

"I have but little to add to Avhat is contained in the 
foregoing extract of my letter to the colonel. The new 
post will be so purely temporary that this character of it 
ought to be Icept in view in its construction. According 
to the plan and method that I have recommended, this 
post may be built ajid established for one company of 
dragoons for about twenty-five hundred dollars. 

"If a. company of infantry could also be sent to this new 
post, it would be well, although it would increase some 
what the expense of its establishment. Of the propriety 
of such an arrangement the Department Avill best judge. 

"Rut I will respectfully urge upon the Department the 


necessity for a speedy decision on the subject of tliis new 
post, that if it is to be established, early measures may 
be taken to secure the timely transportation of the neces- 
sary materials and supplies. The rise of the Des Moines 
will occur in March. 

"In regard to the point recommended for the new post, 
I may remark that I have seen much of the territory of 
lowaj', and particularly of the valley of tlie Des Moines, 
having, in addition to uiy observations from there to the 
mouth of the Eaccoon, crossed the territory with my com- 
pany last summer, on a direct route from Fort Leaven- 
worth to Fort Atkinson, crossing the Des Moines above 
Raccoon, and from all that I have seen and learned, I 
would recommend the point that I have designated as 
the most suitable for the post in question. 

"All of this is predicted on the supposition that the late 
treaty with the Sac and Fox Indians will be approved and 
ratified, but this treaty is so very favorable and advan 
tageous to the United States that I feel no apprehensions 
for its fate." 

Captain Allen's company of dragoons at that time was 
stationed at Fort Sanford, on the Des Moines, at a point 
sixty-five nules west from Fort Madison, tAventy-five north 
of the Missouri boundary, and about four miles Avest of 
the Sac and Fox agency (his nearest postoffice being at 
Fairfield, now the county seat of Jefferson county); or 
as near as maj'' be, at what is now the site of the toAvn of 
OttumAva, in Wapello county, Avhere it remained during 
the Aviuter of 1842-3. The captain's recommendations had 
met the approval of General Scott and the War I>e])art- 
ment, and Colonel Ivearne}', then commanding the Third 
District, at St. Louis, AA'as directed to cause the post to be 
established. It Avas not, hoAvever, until the following 
spring, during Avhich the treaty had hung fire in the 
Senate for so long a time that fears were entertained 
that it would not be ratified, that it was fully determined 
to move the troops from the agency to Raccoon fork. 


By orders Xo. 6, dated Headquarters Third Militarj' 
Department, Jefferson Barracks, February 20tli, 1843, it 
was ordered, that: 

"A temporary post will be established at as early a 
period as the weather will permit on the Kiver Des Moines, 
at or near the junction of the Eaccoon, for the protection of 
the tSac and Fox Indians and the interests of the Govern- 
ment on that frontier. 

"The troops designated for the garrison of the neAV post 
are Captain Allen's company of the First Dragoons, at 
present stationed near the Sac and Fox agency, and a 
companj' of the First Infantrj', now stationed at Fort 
Crawford, to be selected by the lieutenant-colonel com- 
manding the regiment. 

"The site of the post will be determined upon by Cap-, 
tain Allen, and he will also have charge of the erection 
of the requisite buildings for the accommodation of the 
command; which will be constructed with as strict a 
regard for economy as may be consistent with the health 
of the trooj^s, and conformably to the instructions for- 
warded from this office, or such order as he may hereafter 
receive from proper authority." 

Captain Allen left Sandford with a small detachment 
of dragoons on the 29th of April for the new station, 
whither a steamboat with supplies had been dispatched 
from St. Louis, arriving in time to receive and land them. 
Leaving his men to guard the stores, he returned to the 
agency to bring up the balance of his company, from 
whence, on the 10th of May, he dispatched a report of his 
movement to tlie War Department. 

"I have located the post," he writes, "on the point I 
selected for it last fall, the point made by the junction of 
the Eaccoon with the Des Moines. I have delayed taking 
up my horses or removing my whole company because of 
the lateiu'ss of the spring aiul the consequent scarcity of 
grass. It is too ex]xmsive now to take up full rations of 


corn, and the Des Moines Elver being low, I could not 
induce the steamboat that took up the corn and quarter- 
master's stores to make anotlier trip at reasonable rates. 
I am using a small keel boat and wagons, all public, for 
transportation of corn and some other stores, and will 
move, with my company, on the IStli instant. Fairfield, 
loAvay Territory, will be raj first convenient postoffice, 
until another shall be established in the new territory just 
vacated by the Indians." 

It may jiossibly be an item of historical interest to the 
good people of the capital of Avhat is now one of the 
largest and most prosperous states of the Union to learn 
how nearly their city escaped the burden of a ridiculous 
name, and to what fortuitous incident is due the one that 
now attaches to it. 

"I have named the new post,'' writes Captain Allen at 
this time, "Fort Raccoon, to which I respectfully ask the 
sanction of the Secretary of War. ... I 
have recommended this name because the place has 
already a great notoriety under such designation for a 
great distance ar(nind it, as 'Raccoon River,' 'Raccoon 
Forks,' 'Raccoon,' etc., etc., by all of which it is known as 
perhaps the most conspicuous point in this territorj'^, and 
no other name will so well designate the position of the 
new i)ost.'' It is not surprising that this suggestion did 
not strike the authorities at Washington with the same 
force as it did the more practical mind of its worthj^ com 
mandant. "Fort Iowa would be a \'ery good name,'' en- 
dorses Adjutant General Jones on the papers, which he 
submits to General Scott, "but 'Raccoon' would be shock- 
ing; at least in very bad taste.'' It is probable that Gen- 
eral Scott agreed with this vieAV of the case, for a foAV days 
later he informs Captain Allen that the word "Raccoon" 


is uot considered a proper designation for a military post, 
and that nntil otlierwise directed, he will call the post 
"Fort Des Moines." 

Captain Allen does uot give up his point without a 
struggle. "I am afraid," he writes later, "that the latter 
designation for the post will divert much of our mails 
and supplies to the late post of this name on the Mississippi, 
the recollection of which is yet in tlie minds of many of 
the postmasters and public carriers. I know that at Fort 
Atkinson, last year, most of my letters and papers came to 
me by the way of the old post of that name in Wisconsin, 
and with great delay. I will therefore respectfuUj', sug- 
gest and recommend that some name be given to this post 
to which this inconvenience may not attach." 

If Captain Allen had limited the commnuication to 
that subject alone, it is quite probable that his latter ob- 
jection would have been sustained, and some new name 
have been given to his post. But, unfortunately for him, 
if providential to the fort, he raised a point in that letter 
regarding the right of the post to "double rations" which 
at tlie tiine was a matter of contest between the War and 
Treasury departments, with the result that his letter was 
buried in some forgotten pigeon hole about the desk of the 
commanding general, from which it Avas not extracted 
until nearly two years afterwards. By that date the lapse 
of time liad carried with it the main objection of Captain 
Allen, and the name of Des Moines had so long attached 
to the fort, that equal objection would have forbidden 
a change. To this trifling circumstance, the mislaying 
of a document, the present capital city of Iowa undoubt- 
.edly owes its name. 

On the afternoon of the 20th of May, Captain Allen with 
his company of dragoons, four officers and forty-eight men. 


landed at the new site, and went into camp, where they 
were joined on the 21st by Captain J. E.B.Gardenier's com- 
pany "F," ft' th^^ l^t Infantry, two officers and forty-four 
men. The handing was made at the point where the Court 
Avenue bridge now stands, the camp being laid out along 
the west bank of the Des Moines at the edge of the belt of 
timber that extended along the river front, and about the 
present line of Second street. First Lieutenant John H. 
King of the 1st Infantry (who subsequently reached high 
rank in the army and was retired as colonel of the 9th 
Infantrj') was appointed adjutant of the post, and Second 
Lieutenant C. F. Ruff, of the Dragoons, quartermaster 
and commissary. Captain Allen being in command of th*^ 
post, the command of his company devolved upon First 
Lieutenant William N. Greer, who was retired fortj' years 
later as colonel of the Third Cavalry; that of the Infantry 
company being under the charge of its captain, J. E. B. 
Gardenier, who died in 1850, while still in command of 
this company. These, with Dr. John S. Griffin, the sur- 
geon of the post, constituted the first roster of Fort Des 

The command immediately fell to work erecting quar- 
ters and laying out its gardens, building first a tempo- 
rary wharf at the "Point" so often mentioned hj Captain 
Allen, at the convergence of the two s,treams. The first 
building erected was the public storehouse, at a point 
some^flfty yards from the north bank of the Raccoon. This 
was first completed, followed by the hospital at the north- 
ern boundary of the camp about three hundred yards from 
the west bank of the Des Moines, which was first occupied 
about the twentieth of June. The companj' quarters, 
built of logs, one story in height, -ndth puncheon floors, and 
capable of comfortably quartering ten men each, were next 


<'ommenced at the northwest of the storehouse; and still 
fiu-ther to the west, the stables for the dragoons, behind 
which were the corrals, and beyond, following down the 
north bank of the Raccoon, the company gardens. In the 
fall, the quarters for the officers were begun, to the I'ight 
of the storehouse along the west bank of the Des Moines, 
and another garden laid out, across the Raccoon, in the 
angle formed by the south bank of the latter and the 
west bank of the Des Moines. 

The conunanding officer's quarters stood on the site now 
occupied by the Des Moines & Fort Dodge railway station, 
and the front of the officers' quarters, along the line of 
Second sitreet near the track of the Keokuk and Des 
Moines railroad. One of the first acts of the council of 
administration was the selection of Mr. Robert A. Kinzie 
as post trader, who immediatelj^ proceeded to erect his 
store and dwelling at a point to the northwest of the flag- 
staff, where now stands the Sherman block, at the corner 
of Third street and Court avenue. Permits to cultivate 
patches of land in the vicinity of the post in order that 
they miglit purvey for the garrison, were granted Benj. 
B. Bi-yant, John Sturtevant and Alexander Turner. J. 
M. Thrift, a discharged soldier, was given a room in the 
quarters to open a tailor shop, and Charles Weatherford 
to build a blacksmith shop. These people, together 
with Dr. T. K. Brooks, James Drake and J. B. Scott, all 
attaches of the garrison, formed the first (-(Jony of Fort 
Des Moines. 

By the time the winter of 1843-44 had fairly set in, all 
the buildings Avere under roof, and the command abandon- 
ing their tentsi, moved in and made themselves as ann- 
fortable as the circumstances of their isolated position 
would permit. The contractor for supplying the post 


with forage aud beef, Mr. J. B. Bcott, of Fairfield, had 
erected and that winter occupied, tlie largest and most 
comfortable house on the reserTation. By the terms of 
liis contract, dated April 18, 1843, it was agreed by tlie 
United States that: 

"The said J. B. Scott .shall be permitted to open 
and cultivate a farm in the Indian country to embrace 
at least one section of land of 64:0 acres, the said 
farm to be selected by the said Scott at any place 
not nearer than one mile of the said military post from 
any single body of land not appro])riated to the purposes 
of the said military post, or for the Indian villages or the 
licensed trading houses in the country. The said Scott to 
enjoj' the use 'and the benefit of the said farm until the 
time that the Indians shall have left the country agree- 
ably to their late treaty with the United States to remove 
south of the Missouri Elver; provided that the said Scott 
shall from time to time faithfully execute all his agree- 
ments of this contract and provided further that he shall 
not violate any law of the United States regulating trade 
and intercourse in the Indian country nor any proper 
regulation of the said military post or order of the com- 
manding oiflcer." 

Under this agreement Mr. Scott had selected a section 
of land on the o^jposite or east bank of the Des Moines; 
the center of his western boundary line being opposite the 
ferry, and liis residence, built at the noi*thwestern corner 
of his farm, directly opposite the site of the officers' quar- 
ters at the fort. Adjoining Scott's farm to the north, a 
half section had been assigned to the Messrs. (xeorge 
Washington and Washington George Ewiug, of Fort 
Wayne, Indiana, who had been granted trading i)erniits. 
The log house built by the Ewing brothers, was the first 
dwelling house raised on the east bank. Adjoining the 
southern boundary of the Scott farm was a thick growth 
of timber, sometw^o miles in width, at the eastern edge of 
which was the residence and farm of the Phelps brothers, 


who were trading Avith the Indians under a permit from 
their agent, Mr. John Beach. Next to the Phelps farm 
was the residence and buildings of the Indian agent, the 
latter being about four miles in a direct east line from 
the flagstaff of the fort. These parties were all occupy- 
ing their premises during the first winter of the new post. 
With the opening of spring their numbers were largely in- 
creased by white settlers, who hoped to pre-empt the lands 
in advance of tlie treaty, and their importunities and fre- 
quent overt act.5, caiised no little annoyance to Captain 
Allen and his officers, as none of them were permitted to 
settle on the premises. They, however, hovered about 
the vicinity, ekiug out a precarious living in various ways, 
to await the expiration of the three years. The necessity 
of watching these vagabond speculators, and at the same 
time endeavoring to restrain the restless instincts of his 
more particular charges, the Sacs and Foxes, afforded the 
commandant of the fort sufficient employment for his 
meagre force. 

The settlements all about them had the consequent re- 
sult of tempting the Indians to depredations and trespass, 
and wlien restrained from these acts, to war upon their 
neighbors, the Sioux. In February, 1844:, upon the requi- 
sition of the Governor of the territory. Captain Allen left 
the fort with an officer and twenty-nine men, to find a party 
of these trespassing Indians and remove them back to the 
reservation. He accomplished this; task without much 
trouble, returning to the fort within a few weeks, but was 
called upon to repeat the work at intervals during the 
whole period of his occupancy. These tribes do not u]> 
pear at any time to have been other than mischievous, no 
serious offense being laid to tlieir cliarge. 

During this season Lieutenant King left the post on an 


extended leave of absence, and was succeeded in the ad- 
jutancy by Brevet Second Lieutenant Joseph H. Potter, 
and later by First Lienteuant Robert S. Granger, both of 
whom a few years later were brevetted for distinguished 
services in the war with Mexico, and subsequently reach- 
ed the highest grade in their profession. As the time 
drew nearer for the termination of the treaty, the 
duties of the garrison increased. Hundreds of settlers 
were "squatting" along the boundaries ready to pounce 
upon the lands the moment they were evacuated by the 
Indians, and their frequent incursions over the line, which 
were usually accompanied by the shooting of one or more 
of the Indians, followed by acts of reprisal, required all 
the good judgment and discretion of the commandant to 
maintain the peace. Nor Avas this the least difficult of his 
duties. It became evident as the time drew nearer, that 
so strong was the disinclination of the tribes to leave their 
country, that many of them would not go, until removed 
by force. So trying was the situation during the summer 
of 1845, that Captain Allen with his dragoons, was almost 
constantly in the field; being aided in this patrol of the 
district by Captain Sumner's company from Fort Atkin- 

On the 29th of August, 1845, he writes the Department 
in regard to the situation, and in strong disapproval of the 
assumed intention of the Government to abandon the post 
at the expiration of the treaty : 

"I think the post ought not to be abandoned until 
after the Indians shall have, left the country and gone 
to their new^ home south of the Missouri Eiver. This 
they will not do before the time mentioned in their late 
treaty — October 12, 1845 — and I fear that many of them 
will not go until they shall be forced to do so. 

"If then they are to be removed by troops, this garrison 
will be the most convenient for the purpose. Moreover, 


after the 12tli of October, it Avill be too late to remove the 
l)nblic stores to another post -n'ithout expense aud iucon- 
veuieuce; and the contract for forage and other supplies 
being- let for the Avinter, and much of them delivered, the 
<J'n'ernment must exjjerience loss and inconvenience on 
this account, by leaving them, or by exjjosing them to sud- 
den sale. 

"On the VN^hole, I will recommend that this post be kept 
up at its present strength until next spring, and that it 
be abandoned as early in the spring as practicable." 

In this recommendation the department commander, 
General Brooke, did not join. He writes on Septembr 9: 

"I have had a conversation with Colonel Kearney, and 
he ad\'ises that the post be broken up after the departure 
of the Indians, and that the Indians be compelled to re- 
move by the 12tli proximo, as immediately after the 12th, 
a great number of white ]iersous Avill enter the country, 
for the purpose of squatting, and that much disturbance 
and difficulty may be expected between them and the In- 
dians, if they are suffered to remain. 

"Besides tliis, if an Indian be not made to comply with 
a contract once made, he is always looking after indul- 
gences, which in the end lead to delays extremely difficult, 
ever to obviate. I am informed by letter received in this 
city, from Mr. Beach, tlie agent, that the Hacs and Foxes 
are now making preparation and are willing to comply 
with the treaty. Notwithstanding all this apparent 
readiness, I am well convinced that like all other emigra- 
ting tribes, some will scatter on the march and many Avill 
endeavor to remain at their old homes." 

Notwithstanding this, however, the vi<nvs of Captain 
Allen obtained at the War Department, and it was deter- 
mined to keep up the post during the winter. On t^eiitem- 
ber 22, 1845, Com])any I, 1st Infantry, left the post for 
Jefferson Barracks, leaving the garrison with fifty-two 
men. At the termination of the treaty, October 12, 1S45, 
the Sacs and Foxes left the country without resistance 
and moved to lands set apart for them south of tlie Mis- 


souri, tliougli mauj remained and continned by their pres- 
ence to create no considerable disturbance. On Jannary 
1, 184:6, Captain Allen reports that there are still from ISO 
to 200 Sacs and Foxes yet remaining in the territory, but 
believes that they will all remove c|nietly to their new 
homes, south of the Missouri, before their next annual 

The first act of the authorities, after the land came into 
the possession of the United States, was to set aside a 
military reservation of one mile square, of which the flag- 
staff of the fort was the center. Of this area, one hun- 
dred and sixty acres, with all the buildings thereon, were 
subsequently ceded to Polk county, on January 17, 1846. 

The order for the abandonment of the post is dated St. 
Louis, February 23, 1846. It reads: 

"First Lieutenant Grier, commanding Allen's company, 
1st Dragoons, will, as early as practicable, take up his line 
of march from Fort Des Moines, for For-t Leavenworth, 
escorting all the Fox Indians who have not left the terri- 
tory of Iowa, in accoi'dance with their treaty stipulations 
of October, 1842, to their permanent homes, as designated 
by the President of the United States. 

"Lieutenant Grier will leave at Fort Des Moines, one 
steady non-commissioned officer and two privates, for the 
purpose of taking care of all the public buildings, quar- 
termaster's and subsistence stores, ordnance and ord- 
nance stores, and all other public property until instruc- 
tions are received from the War Department for their 
final disposition. 

"Allen's company of dragoons will, after having execut- 
ed the above duty, form a part of the permanent garrison 
of Fort Leavenworth." 

Immediately upon the receipt of this order at the Fort, 
Lieutenant Grier, in the absence of Captain Allen, began 
his arrangements for its evacuation. Lieutenant Noble, 
with twenty men, was sent up the Des Moines in search 


of a partj' of Indians known to be there, while another 
party marched to the Skunk River to bring over two lodges 
of Foxes that were said to be there. By the Tth of March 
all the Indians had been brought in. He writes: 

"They were found about thirty miles above this post 
on the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers, assembled (as they 
pretended to tell me) for the purpose of moving over to 
join their chief, Pow-a-shick. However, information de- 
rived from a better source, and their total Avant of means 
and preparation, go to convince me that they did not in- 
tend to move until compelled to do so. Their intention 
was to move higher up on the Des Moines or Raccoon 
Ri^^er, and hj scattering they doubtless supposed they 
could keep out of the way of the dragoons. They number 
about one hundred and ten. I found them in rather mis- 
erable condition for the journey. 

"Mr. Scott, one of their traders, supplied them with pro- 
visions, but was unwilling to furnish transportation, and 
I directed the A. A. quartermaster to do so. Yesterday 
morning (the Sth instant) Lieutenant Xoble, with a com- 
ma.nd of tweuty-tive dragoons, conducted the Indians on 
their route to Fort Leavenworth. I expect to overtake 
them in three days. I am not aware that there are any 
of the Foxes left in this territory. If there are, they must 
certainly be so few in nu}nber as to give no further trouble 
to the whites. 

"The public property has been packed up, and placed 
in store in charge of a uon-commissionedi officer and two 

At noon on March 10, 1816, Lieutenant Grier, with 
tlie balance of Company I, marched out of the town, and 
Fort Des Moines as a military post ceased to exist. After 
conducting the command to Fort Leavenworth, Lieuten- 
ant Grier returned to Des Moines, by way of St. Louis, in 
order to direct the sale of the public property, Avhich oc- 
curred on the 1st day of May. By this time the vicinity 
of the fort had become a considerable settlement, as well 
as the county seat of the new Polk county, that had been 


organized by the Legislature during its session of that 
winter. The first survey of the new town was made on 
July 8, 18J:6, the first entrj' on May 12, 1818; in 1853 the 
town of Fort Des Moinesi was incorporated, and a year 
hTter bj' act of the Legislature, it was designated as the 
capital of the new state of Iowa. 

Captain James Allen, the commandant of the fort from 
its first occupation to within a few weeks of its abandon- 
ment, was a native of Ohio, born in 1806, and at the age 
of nineteen appointed to the Military Academj- from the 
state of Indiana. He graduated July 1, 1829, and appoint- 
ed as second lieutenant in the 5th Infantry, joined his reg- 
iment at Fort Brady, where he served until Marcla 4, 1833, 
Avhen he was transferred to tlie new Dragoon regiment as a 
second lieutenant. From this time until his death, his 
services on the frontier were continuous and of the high- 
est value to the Government. Joining his regiment at 
Fort Dearborn, he remained on staff duty until his promo- 
tion as first lieutenant. May 31, 183.5, when he was as- 
signed to certain engineer duties in connection Avith the 
reconnoissance of the Indian country. He served during 
the next decade at Forts Leavenworth, Gibson, Atliinson 
and Sandford, from wlience he marched to tlie establish- 
ment of Des Moines. On the abandonment of that work, 
he was appointed lieutenant-colonel and commander of 
the Mormon battalion of Missouri volunteers for the Mex- 
ican war, and was en route to New Mexico with his com- 
mand, when he died suddenly near Fort Leavenworth on 
August 23, 1846, at the age of forty. 

The career of Fort Des Moines had upon the whole been 
uneventful. Like hundreds of its associates it was the 
initial factor in the progress of that grand movement 
which within less than a centurv had civilized a continent. 


At tlie time of its establisliiiieut it was tlie extreme out- 
post ou the noi'tlierii frontiei-, iu tlie midst of a region that 
was comparatively unexplored. Around it as a nucleus, 
sloAvJY but surely, had gathered a colony of sturdy, deter- 
mined pioneers, who, rushing in as the soldiers marched 
out, turned the soil aud metamorphosed the camp into a 
thriving city. The tirst cdiild born at the settlement, a 
son of Lieutenant Grier, iu 1845, Avas also the first to die 
within its limits, and at its funeral was preached the lirst 
sermon by the first minister, the Kev. Mr. Eathbuu. The 
same year a Methodist church was organized, aud a log 
school house erected, so that when the flag was lowered 
for the last time, and the garrison marched out, it left 
behind a thriving community complete in all its parts. 
The fort had fulfilled its mission. 

Names of officers and men who constitute<l the first gar- 
rison of Fort Des Moines, loAva, June 30, 1843: 


Captain — James Allen. 

First Lieutenant — Win. N. Grier. 

Second Lieutenant — C. F. Euff. 

Sergeants — James Miller, Parker Gideon, Charles Wil- 
liams, John Haley. 

Corporals — Eobert Williams, Alexander Newal, Darius 
Halstead, Alonzo Williams. 

Bugler — Loren Holcomb. 

F. &. Bl.— George Marshall. 

Privates — Joseph Brown, William Brown, James 
Batty, Frederick Banfield, John J. Buckmuller, James 
Caterson, Augustine Dame, George De Groote, Benjamin 
F. Fiss, James Gould, George Howlett, Michael Halpin, 


James Ha^vkius, John Harcourt, John Happ, Alexander 
Howard, Cornelius Hutton, Willard Hill, John Jones, 
William Jackson, Francis Kirkwood, Lewis KnoUe, 
Charles W. Lazier, William Martin, Joshua M. Merrill, 
John W. Miller, Joseph C. Moses, John Newton, Polk 
O'Conner, Alphens Pomroy, David Roach, Henry Robert- 
son, Jacob Kichait, William Ramsey, Voorhus Robbins, 
Francis 81einwinder, Anthony Stromberger, Henry 
Stuckenberg, Y. H. Bchlegel, Christopher Schultz, Charles 
StcAA'art, Geo. W. Silver, James M. Sampson, John Skil- 
liu, F. W. Sick, Michael Trainor, William Tyler, Ira Tay- 
lor, B. F. Vanhorn, Herman Walter, Charles W. Wentz, 
Thomas Woolcut, Erastus Washburn, Peter Yerick and 
Thomas Yeadon. 


Captain — J. R. B. Gardenier. 

First Lieutenant — John H. King. 

Second Lieutenant — T. d'Oremieux. 

First Sergeant — Thomas Buxton. 

Sergeants — John Farley, John Fortes, Augs. A. San- 

Corporals — Hiram G. Thorp, John Lynch, James Clore. 

Drummer — Robert Porter. 

Fife — Robert Lucky. 

Privates — John Andrews, Ropon P. Andruss, John 
Barnes, William Burns, Palmer Gheesebro, James M. 
Calder, Abraham Canon, John Clee, Peter Collins, Wil- 
liam B. Deros, Daniel Gatnet, Peter Grevelle, William 
Hutchinson, William Hanson, William Hazen, John Ham- 
ilton, Edmund L. Jarvis, James Keenan, Francis Ken- 
nedy, Samuel Kellogg, Terrence Lee, Michael McDonough, 



Thomas McDonald, Frederick G. Potter, Thomas Pew, 
Soloman Palmer, John Smith, John G. Smith, Samuel 
Smith, Owen Sullivan, John Shay, Matthias Schlechtweg, 
Charles Schlechtweg, William Tate, David Thompson, 
John Welch. 






HE first settlers of Polk coimty came from manj^ 
states and countries. It is noticeable that emigra- 
ti(jn has geuerallj followed a line from east to west. 
Hence we find the New Englander and the York state men 
generally locating as near as possible on a line more or 
less due west from the place of their nativity. For in- 
stance, northern Iowa was first settled by people who 
originally sprung from the New England or states adjoin- 
ing thereto, while southern Iowa drew upon Illinois, Indi- 
ana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, etc., for a large majority 
of its first inhabitants. Polk county being near the cen- 
ter of the new territory, drew from all these sources, 
though a majorit}^ came from the states last named. The 
fact, too, that Missouri, bordering on the south of Iowa, 
was a "slave state," while the latter was a "free territory,'' 
had not a little to do with turning the tide of emigra- 
tion towards Iowa. Many who were southern born and 
disliked slavery, mostly because they regarded the system 
as repressive and injurious to the whites themselves, and 
in seeking a new home in the west they came to Iowa be- 
cause they knew slaverj' did not and never could exist. 
Hence among the early settlers were to be found many 
natives of the more northern slave states, and a few even 
from South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, etc. 
They regarded the new free soil of Iowa as offering more 
advantageous openings for themselves and their children 
than could be found in their old homes. And further, 
the question of slaver}- in Iowa was settled at a very early 


day, and it was known from the beginning tliis institution 
would nevei" be recognized on Iowa, soil, and this, too, 
without the turmoil, trouble and even bloodshed, whicdi 
marked the early settlement of Kansas and other territo- 
ries. In fact, there never was but little, if any, trouble in 
regard to slavery in Iowa. It was free soil from the be- 
ginning, notwithstanding it had once formed a part of a 
province in which negro slavery was established and le- 
gally recognized. 

The Irishman was to be found almost as a matter of 
course among the soldiers of the garrison and with the 
earliest of the settlers, and the steady German was not 
far behind in moving in to enjoy the opening u]) of this 
new and fertile country. The Scandinavians, Swedes and 
Norwegians, were here also at an early day, large numbers 
of them settling in the '50s in the north part of Polk and 
in the adjoining counties of Story and Boone, where they 
formed large and prosperous settlements, although it was 
some years later before they began coming in such num- 
bers to and living in the city of Des Moines. The Irish 
farmers at first mostly settled south and west of the city 
in Polk and the northern portion of Warren and Madison 
counties, and the "Irish Settlement,'' as it Avas termed, 
became well and favorably known at an early day in the 
history of this portion of Iowa. The sturdy, persevering- 
Scots also came and made several settlements formed al- 
most exclusively of people of their own race, and soon be- 
came among the most substantial and successful citizens 
of tlie country. Quite a number of natives of England 
also found their way to this favored country, and as farm- 
ers and as residents of the city fully held their own with 
all the others And all these diiferent peo])le of various 
nationalties, have for years dwelt together in the city and 


comity iu ])ea(;e aud harmony, tlieir only rivalry being to 
see which conld do the most for the advancement of their 
individual interests and the good of the community gen- 
erally. This mingling of different people has also had a 
broadening and liberalizing effect upon the entire com- 
munity, in time anialganmting all into a harmonious 

At the first there were very few of the colored race to 
be found in central Iowa. They wei^e almost unknown 
among the early settlers, though a few drifted into the 
town between 1850 and 1860. During the Civil war they 
commenced coming in and in the few years thereafter 
scores of them found homes here, mostly in Des Moines. 
Their numbers, as the census of this year shows, have 
rapidly increased. Their children are admitted to the 
public schools witli the whites, but they generally attend 
churches controlled by and ministered to by those of their 
own race. They generally prefer the toAvn to the coiin- 
try,thougha limited number of them havebecomesuccess- 
ful farmers. Many of them own their own homes and the 
large majority are industrious working men and women, 
who have proven their right to freedom by the rapid ad- 
vancement in juanj^ ways they have made since this boon 
Avas conferred upcjn them throughout the entire countrj'. 

The Indians, the original possessors of the land, have 
long since <lisa]jpeared, and are seen no more save when 
a few Musquakies — men, women and children — may be 
rarely seen upon <mr streets or haunting the streams and 
woods of the country. When they do appear they are 
looked upon vrith curiosity by the young and later citizens 
who never saw the Indian in his natural state, before he 
was driven aAvay from his former home bj^ the rapid ad- 


vancemeut and sweeping progress of the white man. A 
better race, perhaps, has tal^eu their place and civilization 
has been the gainer — the laucl has been cultivated and im- 
proved, and the beneficent gifts of a land Providence have 
been utilized, the wilderness has been made to blossom — 
and yet from the thoughtful man who contemplates these 
great and almost wonderful changes wrought in so few 
years, some sympathy must go out to the poor red man 
who once had all this beautiful land — and lost it. 

As stated in the official history the United States 
troops and stores were brought here by the little steamer 
lone, which made a landing at the Raccoon Forks on the 
ninth day of May, 1813. Captain Allen, who was the 
commandant of the new post, soon landed his soldiers, 
their arms, baggage and stores, and the erection of the 
new fort buildings was soon commenced and carried 
to comiiletion as soon as possible. The barracks were 
built of rough logs, and were one-story high, with good 
chimnej's and puncheon floors. They soon became com- 
fortable quarters for the troops. These buildings, includ- 
ing stables, numbered twenty-four. After starting the 
work Captain Allen returned to old Fort Sanford, four 
miles south of Agency City, for the purpose of afterwards 
bringing the remainder of the troops and stores to the 
new fort. The militarj' force then consisted of about one 
hundred and twenty-five officers and men. A portion 
were infantry and the remainder cavalry, or dragoons as 
they were then termed. The headquarters, or quarters 
of Captain Allen were near where Market Square is now 
located. Witli the soldiers were a number of artisans 
and hangers-on who had been permitted to accompany the 
soldiers to tlieir new post. ^Vhat had i)reviously been a 
wild solitude, occasionally occupied by Indians, now be- 


came the bustling haunt of white soldiers, of traders and 

Soon after the arrival of the troops a trading post was 
established on the east side of the river. In fact, accord- 
ing to the memorandum of Benjamin Bryant, the traders 
were a few days in advance of the steamer lone and the 
soldiers. This says: "May 3, 1843, the Ewings landed 
a keelboat at the water's edge on the east side of the Des 
Moines Ifiver, laden with goods, corn, some provisions, 
and tools with which to build a trading house." The 
Ewings also built a log cabin to be used as a dwelling, 
the first in the future city. These Indian traders, George 
W. and Washington G. Ewing, were from Fort Wayne, 
Indiana. They had first traded with the Miamis on the 
Wabash, and afterwards extended their operations to 
numerous other Indian tribes throughout a vast stretch 
of country, and had previously dealt with the Sacs and 
Foxes. They had the exclusive right to this trade at this 
point, though it also appears that hj an arrangement 
between the parties Phelps & Co., of Fulton, 111., a branch 
of the American Fur company had the right of dealing 
with the Indians for furs, etc. This firm built their trad- 
ing house farther down the river, near the present site of 
the packing houses. 

The agency buildings were also placed on the east side 
situated near the elegant residence subsequently built 
by the late Wesley Bedhead. These agency buildings 
remained standing for a number of years. The wife of the 
son of the writer was born in this old agency building. 
While the Indians remained, here lived Major Beach, the 
Indian agent, and with him was generally to be found 
Joseph vSmart, the interpreter. Major Beach was a gradu- 


ate of West Point, had served in the United States army, 
and several years before had resigned liis commission. 
He married the daughter of Gen. Street, the noted Indian 
commissioner and agent, and upon his death was ap- 
pointed government agent for the Sacs and Foxes. He 
Avas an honorable, upright man, faithful to his trust, and 
highly respected alike by Indian.s and whites. Smart, 
the interpreter, was a valuable assistant to hiui, and made 
liis services indispensable to both whites and Indians, 
he being popular with Indians, soldiers and civilians. 

The first merchant of Des Moines was Robert A. Kin- 
zie, who held the position of sutler to the post. He had 
his store room near where the Prouty Avholesale grocery 
now is, east of the Roclv Island depot. He was not 
allowed to trade with the Indians, and confined liis sales 
to the soldiers and the few others then in and around the 
post. No white man was allowed in tlie limits of this ter- 
ritory until after the expiration of the Indian title, except 
by special permission of the Indian agent or the military 
authorities. Among the few who obtained these special 
permits and aftei'wards made claims were: John B. 
Scott, Wilson Alexander Scott, traders and farmers; 
James Drake, blacksmith and gunsmith; John Sturte- 
vant, ^Vlexander Turner and William Lamb, were permit- 
ted to open claims and raise corn for the agency troops. 
•Tosepli M. Tlirift was tlie tailor, and did the making and 
patching of the clothes of soldiers and civilians, while 
Charles Worthington and a man named Baker looked 
after tlie shoeing of the horses. These were the first 
mechanics of the future great city. Dr. Griftin, surgeon 
of the post, attended to the health of soldiers and citizens, 
and was soon assisted and followed by Dr. Thomas K. 
Brooks, Avho was for years a prominent, popular and use- 


ful citizen of the city and county. Peter Newcomer, in 
February, 1844:, obtained permission of Captain Allen to 
make a claim on agency prairie east of the capitol, if he 
woukV build a bridge oyer Four Mile Creek on the road 
leading to the southeast. The bridge was built and Peter 
made his yaluable claim and held it for many years. 

Thomas Mitchell, so prominent in the history of the 
county and so universally esteemed by all, came into the 
county in April, 1844, and was giyen permission to make 
a claim on Camp Creek, in the eastern portion of the 
county, if he would build a bridge oyer that stream. This 
was on the road both to Iowa City and Keokuk, and oyer 
the latter were hauled most of the supplies for the gar- 
rison and settlers. Mr. Mitchell built the bridge, and as 
the travel increased when the lands were opened to white 
settlers he opened a hotel at his place, Apple Grove. He 
was virtually forced into this, as travelers would stop 
with him, tavern or no tavern, and he was too hospitable 
and kind-hearted to^ turn them away. For fifteen or 
twenty years the fame of Tom Mitchell's hostelry Avas 
abroad in the land. There the weary traveler or emi- 
grant was certain of clean, wholesome food, good beds 
and a hospitable welcome. The main traveled roads from 
Iowa City and Oskaloosa came together a short distance 
east of Mitchell's and all coming from the east had to pass 
his house, and soon few there were who did not stop with 
him for a time. Hungry and discontented travelers, by 
coach, private conveyance or on foot, would grumble at 
tlie accommodations at other places and then brighten up 
with the cheerful thought or remark: "Wait until we 
get to Tom Mitchell's, and then we will be all riglit." 

The only blacl^smith shop, operated hy Worthington 
and Baker, was within the limits of the Fort on the west 


side of the rivei-, and their principal work was shoeing 
the horses of the dragoons. The coal they used is said to 
have been procured from the banks along the river, and 
some of it from the exposed vein at Rattlesnake Bend. 
The first coal shaft and stone quarry is said to have been 
opened in 1843 by Captain Allen and A. K Hays. The 
stone was not of the best quality, and the coal being taken 
from the first ^ein was not of the superior quality of that 
mined later and taken from the lower veins. Then there 
Avas not much demand for coal as the abundant timber 
along the rivers and streams near by made wood conveni- 
ent and cheap for use as fuel. In fact it was not until 
years after that coal became so much of an object and the 
mining of it was carried on Avith skill and success. See 
chapter on coal. 

Frojn the data Ave have gleaned we find Des Moines in 
the first year of her growth to sum up a toAvn as f oIIoavs : 
The garrison, consisting of from one hundred to one hun- 
dred and twenty officers and enlisted men; Kinzie, the sut- 
ler; Worthington and Baker, blacksmiths; Dr. Griflin, the 
surgeon; Joseph M. Thrift, the tailor; the Scott, Lamb and 
Turner families; Indian Agent Beach and Interpreter 
Joseph Smart; the E wings trading store; Sturtevant »&: 
Drake, gunsmiths; Phelps & Co., fur dealers; Benjamin 
Bryant, and a feAV other attaches of the traders and the 
post. These were all the white people Avithin a radius of 
one mile of Eaccoon Forks, now included Avithin the city 
of Des Moines, which according to the census of 1895, con- 
tains a population of 56,359, and will approximate over 
100,000 at the close of the century, now only five years 
distant. All these changes have been made in a period of 
fifty-two years. 

The navigation of the Des Moines River Avas precarious, 


to say the least, aud steamboats could make the trip only 
during the high water of the spring and earl 3' summer, and 
at that time there were no great inducements for boats to 
often make this dangerous and tedious trip. One boat 
could in one trip carrj^ goods and provisions enough to sup- 
ply for many months the wants of the few and scattered 
settlers then living one hundred or more miles above the 
mouth of the river. At that time the natural tendency of 
trade was toward the Mississippi Elver and on to 
St. Louis. Chicago was then aud for years afterward, 
comparatively unknown. Hence the first roads opened 
were in a southeasterly direction to reach the mills toward 
the mouth of the river for flour and corn meal and to obtain 
supplies of dry goods, groceries, etc., from St. Louis by way 
of Keokuk and Burlington. Thus we find Captain Allen, 
in the first year of his occupancy of the post of Fort Des 
Moines, planning and laying out a military road from his 
post to Tool's Point, now Monroe, in Jasper county. There 
a connection could be made with a road leading on to Oska- 
loosa, Eddyville, Ottumwa, the old Agency, and then on 
either to Burlington or Keokuk. It should be remem- 
bered that in 1843 Eddyville was the first town onthe river 
below the Fort, and between these two small villages there 
Avere no settlements; nothing but an uninhabited country 
of prairie and timber. Eddjwille was settled in June, 1813, 
and that year had less than a dozen families. Ottumwa 
was settled about the same time and shortly after had 
many more inhabitants, not counting the soldiers, than had 
Des Moines. 

To open this road, so important to these early settlers. 
Captain Allen, commandant of the Fort and Major Beach, 
the Indian agent, gave permission, as previously stated, 
to Peter Newcomer, to make a claim if he would build a 


bridjie over Four Mile Creek, and the privilege was given 
Thomas Mitchell for a bridge over Camp Creek, and 
other inducements were held out to others to improve or 
make passable this much-needed road, over which the most 
of their necessary supplies must be transported. And it 
was not expected to make of it one of the improved high- 
ways of the present day; if it could only be made passable 
by bridging some of the worst streams, this would be suf- 
ficient. The travelers along the road must do the rest. 
Until the erection of a grist mill on Middle Kiver by (!'ap- 
taiu Allen and John D. Parmelee, tlie settlers were com- 
pelled to go from fifty to more than one hundred miles 
below for the flour and meal they used. They were com- 
pelled to take their "grist"' as far as Bentonsport, Fairfield, 
and a few other distant mills, and later on to Oskaloosa 
and other mills later built farther up the river. They were 
compelled to haul their grain these long distances over 
rough and unimproved and often unbridged roads, more 
trails than highways, in all kinds of weather, and then per- 
haps be compelled to wait days at the mill before their 
"grist was ground," or they could exchange their grain for 
flour and meal. And not unfrequently, when flour and 
meal were gone, they and their families were compelled for 
days and weeks to use as a substitute for flour and meal, 
cracked wheat and corn and hominy. And yet with all 
these hardships and privations they managed to extract 
no little enjoyment out of tliis frontier life, and certainly 
were, if we are to believe the testimony of many of them, 
as healthy, happy and content as at any other period of 
their lives. Their sons and daughters of to-day, sur- 
rounded as tliey are with all the appliances and luxuries of 
civilization, nmy Avonder at tliese statements of the early 
settlers, and yet their truth is beyond dispute. 


The object in keepiiii; the United States troops liere was 
primarily to Iveep tlie peace betAveen the Sioux and Sacs 
and Foxes, wlif» were, and liad been for many years, sworn 
foes to each otlier, and liad often met in deadly conflict. 
The Sionx then overrun northwestern Iowa, but seldom 
came as low down as the Raccoon Forks. They, however, 
controlled all the country around the headwaters of the 
Des Moines River and the two up2:)er forks thereof. As 
stated previously, there was a strip fort_y miles wide pass- 
ing from the east in a soutlnvesterly direction between 
Fort Des Moines and Fort Dodge, which was designated 
as "Neutral Ground," and was intended to keep the Sioux 
and the Sacs and Foxes, lowas, etc., as far apart as possi- 
ble, and prevent collisions between these inveterate foes. 
Several alarms were given that the Si<mx were making, or 
about to make, a raid upon the Indians around tlie Fort, 
but these generally turned out to have no foundation in 
fact. They caused the dragoons, however to make a num- 
ber of scouts and hard marches through the country to 
the north and west of the Fort. 

The troops also had the more difficult task of keeping 
white intruders off the Indian reservation until the three 
year limit fixed by the treaty had expired. The pioneers of 
that day had heard of the beautj' and fertility of the coun- 
try in and around the Raccoon Forks, of the rich land 
awaiting the emigrant in the "Three River Counti-y," and 
of the future beautiful homes to be secured in a short time 
in the " 'Coon" and Des Moines valleys above the Fort. 
These impatient, but honest, anxious settlers could be 
kept back without much difficulty, but there was a class 
of men, generallj^ found in all opening or recentlj^ settled 
countries, who caused the soldiers and the few 
honest settlers much more trouble. Tliev were to be found 


hanging around the edges of the reseiTation and making 
frequent dashes therein for the purpose of robbing both 
Indians and whites. There were a number of these 
rascals hovei-ing around in those earlj^ days. 

One of the chief rascals of that early day, and he 
remained about liere for several years, was one Jonas 
Carsner, who in some ten years made a long record as a 
criminal in Polk and other counties of central Iowa. Tur- 
rell says of him in his first history of Des Moines: 

"Some renegade white men had penetrated into the re- 
serve, sold whisky to the Indians, and after gaining their 
friendship abused it by stealing their horses. Incidents 
of this kind caused Captain Allen to send out detach- 
ments of dragoons to capture the thieves and restore the 
stolen horses to their legal owners. This was a difficult 
task, the illimitable wilderness around affording an ample 
retreat for the miscreants. But finally one of them was 
captured and brought into the Fori. This was Jonas 
Carsner, since notorious in the criminal records of this and 
other counties for felonies of every description. He was 
tried by the officers of the Fort, and, although there 
was no doubt of his guilt, no direct proof of it could 
be obtained. Captain Allen, therefore, thought it best 
not to sentence him under the law, but knowing-^ he 
was deserving of some punishment, turned him over to the 
Indians (some say white men disguised as Indians). They 
took him out, tied him to a tree, and gave him a most 
unmerciful whipping. This certainlj'^ should have had a 
beneficial effect, but subsequent events proved otherwise. 
One of the horses stolen by Carsner had been found. The 
same night Carsner was rewarded with the cat-o'-nine-tails 
two horses were stolen from a man by the name of Fish, 
who was bringing supplies to the Fort and had encamped 
for the night a few miles from tlie settlement. Tlie Indi 
ans kindly lent Fish the horse they had just reclaimed 
and he started in search of his own. But while following 
their trail through a lonesome strip of timber suddenly 
Jonas (Jarsner appeared, and coming abrupt!}' up, he dex- 
trously cut the saddle girth with a huge knife, hurled Fish 


to the gi'ound, and bore uAvay at full speed the twice-cap- 
tured horse. The disconifitted luau uow felt 'like a Fish 
out of water.' " 

No course was left him but to trudge doggedly back 
to his Indian friends whose curses, when they fully com- 
prehended Carsner's coup de et etat, may be imagined, but 
not recorded. 

Among the first white men, if not the very first, to visit 
Des Moines and become a resident and afterwards a set- 
tler near by, was John D. Parmelee. He was a native of 
Vermont and had lived north and south, and finally came 
to Iowa in 1840 as the agent of a fur company. His first 
location was in what is now Wapello county, near Ot- 
tumwa. In a letter written by him in 1841 he says : 

"It is one of the most pleasant countries that can be 
found in the world, and I think very healthj'. The Des 
Moines River is one of the most beautiful streams that ever 
flowed. It is about as wide as the Connecticut River, 
but shallow, with high banks, with gravel or rock bottom 
and as clear as the streams that tumble from the moun- 
tains of Vermont. The country is well divided into tim- 
ber and prairie for the convenience of the farmer." 

On March 27, 1843, he again writes, dating from the Des 

Moines River: 

"The Indians have sold their whole country, but 
retain one-half of it for three years more. This will 
cause us to move our trading post one hundred miles 
up the river, by the first of May, and there remain for three 
years. You can see where I have located our new trading 
post bj^ looking at your map of the United States. We 
shall be on the north side of the Des Moines River, directly 
opposite to the mouth of the Raccoon River, which is a lit- 
tle more than one hundred miles above where we now are. 
The winter has been remarkably cold, with an immense fall 
of snow, from one and one half to two feet deep. Since the 
twelfth of this month (March) I have been to Raccoon 
River, and have taken men and provisions for building 
.our post on the ice. It is still cold winter weather, very 


good sleighing, and ice from twelve to eighteen inches 
thick on the river. It is equal to old Vermont. Its 
]iaral]el was never known in this conntry." 

In the same letter Mr. Parmelee states he Avas married 
about a month before. Thus it will be seen John D. Par- 
melee was in Fort Des Moines some months bef(jre the ar- 
rival of the troops. He came again in May, about the time 
the troojjs first came, owing to the non-payment of scnne 
five hundred dollars — a small fortune in those days — due 
him from his einployers, he quit their service in June, 1848, 
and took the place of Moses Barlow, as a partner of Captain 
James Allen in operating the first saw mill in this section 
of the country. This mill was located on Middle River, 
not far from the present town of Carlisle. The first object 
of the mill was to furnish lumber for use at the buildings 
at tlie fort. The erection and progress of this enter j)rise 
is given in a letter written by Parmelee some time after to 
his friends in Vermont. In this he says: 

"The work at that time was just commenced. I took 
charge of the work, completed the saw mill that winter 
and furnished lumber to build Fort Des Moines, and have 
since that time added to the building sufficiently for a grist 
mill with four runs of burs, one of which we have in opera- 
tion — all of the best quality — and shall put in more as the 
country settles and requires it. Our frame is 45x35 and 
three stories high — as fine a building as any of that size 
you can see in Vermont. . . . Captain Allen was an 
officer in the First regiment. United States dragoons, and 
was promoted last spring, at the commencement of the 
Mexican war, to be lieutenant-colonel of volunteers, and 
ordered to California, but was taken sick just at the time 
he Avas to start, and died at Fort Leavenworth. It has been 
very expensive Avork, and it Avas done at a time Avhen this 
was an Indian country, and, of course, hands and provis- 
ions w^ere hard to get. But it is in the flower of loAva, and 
the garden of the Avorld. I have a farm adjoining, Avith 
eighty acres in cultiA^ation, and about one hundred and 


forty under fence, but this I will have to pay Umle ^ani 
for Avhen it comes into market, at -11.25 per acre, though 
my claim includes three hundred and twenty acres, half 
timber and the rest river bottom, all lying on the banks of 
the Des Moines River, one of the prettiest rivers that flows, 
and only ten miles below Fort Des Moines, the probable 
place of our future seat of government, it being within 
eighteen miles of the centre. The commissioners are at 
this time in the county for the purpose of locating." 

The location of the mill was in Polk county at first, and 
remained therein for several years, but that strip, or tier 
of townships, was afterwards, by legislative enactment 
taken from Polk and given to Warren county. This first 
saw and grist mill was a great boon to the early settlers 
not only of Des Moines, but to those also settling within a 
large area of territory around the Raccoon Forks. They 
were no longer compelled to travel many weary miles 
soutli and east to procure necessary breadstuffs. They 
could now be supplied nearer their homes. John D. 
Parmelee was indeed a benefactor to the early settlers of 
this entire section of Iowa, and his memory V\'as and will 
be cherished by them as long as life exists. Parmelee's 
mill was a very important factor in the early settlement 
of Polk, Warren, Madison and adjacent counties. 

William Mason, for many years a citizen of Warren 
county, came to Fort Des Moines in 1843, and assisted in 
cutting the shingles for the (lovernment building, and 
afterwards Avorked in the building of the Parmelee mills, 
After going back to New Jersey he returned in 1845 and 
took the (daim, which he subsequently entered and lived 
upon so many years. 

Mention might also here be made of a name, so familiar 
to nearly every one of the early settlers, that of Benjamin 
Bryant. He came here in May as a trusted employe of the 

130 .i.V.Y.iL^S' OF POLK COUNTY 

trading company, and after their occupation was gone 
witli the Indians, Mr. Bryant remained a citizen of Des 
Moines, to which he was alwaj's most ardently attached. 
He held a number of county and town offices, and always 
faithfully discharged every public and private duty. He_ 
was one of the first county treasurers, deputy sheriff, con- 
stable, and for a juimber of years Avas justice of the peace 
for Des Moines township. He was a man of excellent judg- 
ment and strict honesty, liberal and generous hearted. He 
had also the distinction of having sustained a leading part 
in the first legal performance of the marriage ceremony 
within the limits of Polk county. The records show that 
the first marriage license issued in the county was in June, 
1846, when Benjamin Bryant was married to Elvira Birge, 
in Franklin township. Addison Michael, a justice of the 
peace of Des Moines township, ofliciatiug as the marrying 
magistrate. Mrs. Bryant died a few years thereafter, and 
Mr. Bryant, some years later again married. Benjamin 
Bryant, died in 1SG6; and was sincerely mourned by the 
many friends with whom he had been associated so closely 
in the early and later days of the city and county. 

Isaac Cooper, Avho made a claim among the early ones 
on Four Mile Creek, and was for years a prominent citizen 
of the city and county, writes thus of the early settlers from 
his present home in Oleta, Amador County, California, 
under date of June 30, 1895 : 

"I received your letter some time since, but as you asked 
no i:)articular points, I hardly know what to write you. 
When your history is published I want a copy, of course. 
Casady and others can give later names than those I give. 
Should there be any point you wish to know about that I 
am conversant with, write me. 

"Ishallgiveyounames I knoAVAV ho settled in Polk county 
prior and up to the spring of 1846. I think the earliest and 


'Continuous settler of the county will be found in Anna 
Mills, born Newcomer, who was only a babe in arms when 
brother William and I arrived there late in July or early 
August. Anna Mills has a sister, Cassy, older thau she, 
but I think she is with her mother in Louisiana. New- 
comer moved his family to the county in 1844. He came 
himself in 1843 and worked as a carpenter at tlie Fort, his 
family living in a cabin on the Lamb place. The Lamb 
and Scott families came up from Fairfield early in 1843, as 
corn contractors for the troops, and settled on their several 
places. They found an army sergeant and three soldiers 
in possession of the 'Raccoon Forks.' Newcomer got per- 
mission to make his building a bridge over Four 
Mile Creek just below where the Hock Island railroad 

"William Lamb raised a crop of wheat, the first in Polk 
county, in 1845, and my brother William and I sowed 
twelve acres to wheat on the Lamb place the same year, 
about September 1. Dr. T. Brooks came late in 1845, set- 
tled in tlie Indian agent's house, and early in 1846 laid out 
tlie town of Brooklyn ou the ground occupied by Phelps as 
a trading post, and Avhere Tuttle built his pork house. In 
the same year Dr. Brooks was appointed postmaster and 
William Cooper deputy. John Saylor was living ou Saylor 
bottom and was beef contractor for the garrison. A man 
named Post was mail contractor. William Hughes came 
earljr in 1845; also, old man Myers and his son John, and I 
assisted in raising their cabin. Mr. Harris and his son 
Nate were there in 1845. Newton Lamb and family came 
late in the same year. Jerry Church was fiddling and 
locating ground for the state capitol in 1845. 

''Thomas Newell claimed South Des Moines. Eli Smith- 
son, a roustabout at the garrison, claimed the ground 
back of the dragoou stables, which woiild include the low 
lauds on the Raccoon about the old fair grounds. Ben- 
jamin Bryant was an employe of Phelps, and was married 
in the early summer of 1846 to Miss Birge. This was the 
first marriage in the county, she at that time was living 
with her father on the Skunk River. William Cooper and 
Martha Lamb were guests, James Lamb was the fiddler 
for the party, and the dancing was on a ground floor under 


a brush roof. Johu Baird aud William Warden work(^d 
for the Scotts and Thad Wellmaii for Lamb in 1845. 
Jacob Fredericks and sons made claims in Four Mile tim- 
ber in 1845. Fred Elliott and Isaac aud Riley Thornton 
claimed on upper Four Mile timber in 1815. There were 
most probably others that I did not know and some that I 
can't recall as I write from memory. Keese Wilkins can 
probably give you more full information, as he has remain- 
ed in the countj'. 

"The Indian race coui'se was from near where Cypher 
lived on Fourth street (where the State Insurance building 
now stands), over the ground where the Methodist churcli 
once stood (Iowa Loan and Trust building), as far as about 
Seventh street. I attended the races there in 1845, and the 
Indians beat the Avhites, who had brought race horses from 
the south part of the state of Missouri. Among those who 
had race stock was old Billy AA'are. 

"Thomas Mitchell you know all about. I brought the 
first threshing machine to Polk county and threshed in 
Jasper, Mahaska and Marion counties. Daniel Justice, 
Peter Newcomer and myself brought the first reaj)er and 
mower in 1847. Mr. Oglesvie and family came in the 
winter of 1845, and Thomas Henderson and family in the 
fall of the same year. 

"I can think of nothing further and have had to scratch 
to remember this. Norris and Stutsman came in the 
spring of 184(3. William Cooper sold Norris forty feet of 
rope to dig a wellwith, and at the depth of forty feet he 
struck the top of a pine or cedar tree and had to come for 
more rope. 

"We are in good health, mine esq^jecially so, for a man 
half along in his 83d year. 

"Very truly yours, 



The following letter was drawn out by that of Mr. 
Cooper, and was written from Maloy, Iowa, under date 
of July 5, 1S!»5, by John D. Carter, and is an interesting 


"I read Isaac Cooper's letter in Sunday's Kegister, and it 
brought tlie long ago to my mind very vividly. Mr. (^'ooper 
says John Baird and William Warden worked for the 
Scotts in 1845. I will tell you that A. Davis, John (los- 
sage, Eli Kirk and I worked for the Seotts in 1844. My 
father settled in Jefferson county near Fairfield, in 1843, 
on Cedar Creek, near Henry and Thomas Mitchell, aud 
when Thomas Mitchell moved to Cani]i Creek, in Polk 
county, in April, 1844, 1, John Beard, Eli Kirk and Davis 
went to the Fort to work for the Scotts. Davis had a wife 
and she worked for Mrs. John Scott. Davis made all the 
rails for the Scott improvements in the winter of 1843-4, 
and I helped build the fence. The rails Avere all made of 
white Avalnut timber or butternut. 

"John Beard was hauling corn from Fairfield for the 
Scotts. The summer (jf 1844 was wet and Scott fell short 
ou corn for the dragoons. I went home to Fairfield, got 
my father's ox team, and brought seventy-five bushels of 
corn to the Fort for the Scotts, and then broke up, I think, 
seventy-five acres of prairie for the Scotts. I also broke up 
a garden patch for Smart, the Indian interpreter for the 
(lovernment. Pie lived out at the agency buildings by the 

"Mr. Cooper gives the location of the race track right at 
the Fort. We had auother one on the bottom towards 
where Lamb farmed, and we put in most of the Sundays 
one place or the other; mostly in the bottom for the reason 
it was too much trouble to swim our horses over the river 
to the Fort. John Scott outran Ingram Baker, the agency 
blacksmitli, on the track in the Fort that summer, and also 
outran the Heetest Indians in the Sac tribe. 

"The only families I know outside of the agency people 
were the Scotts, Lambs, Thomas Mitchell and Joseph 
Thrift, a tailor by ti'ade, who lived over north and east of 
the capitol building. A Mr. Parmelee w^as building a mill 
over on one of the three rivers. 

"Now I want to say myonlyreasonforwritingthis bung- 
ling letter is to let .you know that I helped to make one of 
the first farms in Polk county; that I plowed np and fenced 
quite a field where East Des Moines now stands. I w^as 



20 years old then. I went to California in 1849, dug up 
some mouej^, and entered the land I am now living upon. 

"Yours truly, 





THE map drawn at the United States War Depart- 
ment, and published in this volnme, shows the loca- 
tion of the fort, buildings, stables, hospital, etc. 
The bnildino-s in which the soldiers were quartered, were 
mostly built of logs, and Avere what are known as double 
log cabins. That is, two cabins built closely together, 
-R-ith a roof extending over the vacant space between, the 
latter forming a kind of court useful for the storing of 
numerous articles. There were some twenty-five of these 
buildings or barracks. The flag-staff of the fort was near 
the corner of Second and Market streets as noAV laid out. 
The fort buildings facing along the Des Moines lUver to- 
wards the north and along the Eaccoon River to the west, 
the towering flag-staff stood about mid-way between the 
sides of the triangle. This staff or pole was cut down not 
long after the s(ddiers left. 

\\'hile the troops were here no white person was 
allowed to settle in the town or county, without special 
permission from the commandant of the post, and they had 
generally some connection with the troops or with the 
licensed traders. Hence at first, the civilians or settlers 
were very few in number. In fact, outside of the soldiers, 
those in and about the future city can be easily enumer- 
ated. There were Major Beach, the Indian agent, and his 
interpreter, Joseph Smart; the Indian traders, G. W. and 
W. G. Ewing, and their few clerks, among them being 
Benjamin Bryant; the fur traders, Phelps & Co., and their 
few clerks; J. B. Scott, W. A. Scott, Alexander Turner and 


William Lamb, who had cfiiiti-acted to furnish corn, hay, 
etc., foi'the jiarrisou; Chaides Woi'thiuj^tou and one Baker, 
government blacksmiths; Joseph M. Thrift Avas the tailor 
and James Drake and John vSturdevant, the gunsmiths. 
There were also Ivobert A. Kinsey, the sutler for the 
troops, and the surgeon, Dr. (h'iffin. Tlie troops, number- 
ing about one hundred, more or less, and a few of the 
above named, were in or near the fort on the west side, 
while the agency, the farmers and others were located on 
the east side of the Des Moines River, while the gardens 
of the troops were south of the IJaccoon. Such was Fort 
Des Moines in 184.3. South and east of it, some seventy- 
liA^e miles on the river, Avas Eddj'ville, which was settled 
in June of that year, and had at the close of the year 
probably one dozen families. Ottumwa was founded 
about the same time and had at the end of the year more 
civilized inhabitants than Fort Des Moines. There may 
have been a few settlers in or about Red Rock, but from 
the Raccoon Forks to Eddyville it was an unoccupied 
country, while there were no settlers whatever to the 

This was the condition of Des Moines and of the county 
of Polk in 1843, and this continued virtually to be the con- 
dition of the town and county until the summer and fall 
of 1845. 

Peter Newcomer came with the troops to the Fort, and 
in the spring of 1843 obtained permission of Captain 
Allen to take and improve a claim, wliicli he finally lo- 
cated on the river at Newcomei-'s Point, a few miles east. 
He, in consideration of this privilege, built a bridge across 
Four Mile Creek, which was needed by the garrison, 
Henry B. Mitchell and Thomas Mitchell, brothers, in 
April, 1844, made a claim, by permission, on Camp Creek, 

AXn THE f'/TY OF DIJS MOiyiJS. 187 

and coiiiineiiced a settlement. In .Vpril, 1X4."), John !>. 
Savior settle<l on tlie east side of the rivei-, near tlie ](res- 
eiit site of Saylorville, made a (daim, and had a beef and 
hav contract for fnrnisliinji tlie tr(>()])s. He nunh' the first 
setf lenient in the J)es Moines valley north of the city. An 
unmarried man by the name of (1. I>. (Mark, in 1844, was 
permitted to make a idaim in what is now Allen township, 
and there bnilt two cabins. He was drowned a year or 
two after^\ard in the ri\ er, near XeAVconu^r's Point. Isaac 
Cooper, a former well known citizen, settled on Four ^lile 
in-Anynst, 1845. John I>. Parmelee settled near the pres- 
ent town of Carlisle, now in Warren county, in 1843, and 
in connection Avitli Captain Allen, operated the first saw 
mill, and in the following year the first grist mill, in this 
section. Dr. Tlnnnas K. Brooks came in 1845, a short time 
previous to the removal of the troops. William F. Ayers 
was also here at that time. William Mason, afterward 
for many years a citizen of Warren county, made shingles 
for the Fort buildings, and afterwards assisted in erecting 
the Parmelee mill. 

October 11, 1845, was the date fixed when the Indian 
occupancy of these lands Avas to expire, and the fame of 
their beauty, extent and fertility bad spread east and 
south into other states, and many liomediunters made 
their arrangements for settling upon an<l secxiring for 
their own use a portion of these ricdi lands. For a few 
months previous to this date the strict military rules ana 
regulations had been rightfully relaxed, and there were 
hundreds of men from the outside i)rospecting through 
the county and making note of choice locations. How- 
ever, as the final day approached, the excitement became 
intense. All those so deeply interested proceeded to or 
near tlie place where their selection had been made so as 


to be ready to mark out their claim at the earliest possible 
moment. Under the law each man could claim any 
amount of land not exceeding one-half section, or three 
hundred and twenty acres, and could enter the same at 
the United States land office when surveyed and offered for 
sale for .$1.25 per acre in gold or silver, or with military 
bounty land warrants. H. B. Turrill in his brief work 
entitled "Historical Eeminiscences of Des Moines," says 
of this time: 

"Long before the expiration of the Indian title the set- 
tlers around the Fort had made arrangements with each 
other, and the valuable tracts were already considered 
claims. Some claims were even measured and staked off, 
but this was of no validity, and done only for convenience 
or to facilitate such subsequent survey as was absolutely 
necessary to establish and identify it. So eager were the 
settlers, who had previously remained only at the suffer- 
ance of the general government, to have homes near the 
Fort, that during the fore ])art of the night preceding- 
October 11, 1815, men were stationed in all directions 
around with instructions to begin the measurement of 
claims as soon as midnight arrived. 

"Precisely at midnight the loud report of a musket, fired 
at the agency house, announced that the empire of the 
red man had ended forever and that of his master race had 
begun. Answering reports rang out upon the night air 
in quick succession from every hill top and in every valley,, 
till the signal was conveyed for miles around, and alii 
understood that civilization had now commenced her reign 
in central Iowa. The moon was slowly sinking in the 
west and its beams afforded a feeble and uncertain light 
for tlie measurement of claims in which so many were 
engaged. Ere long the landscape was shrouded in dark- 
ness, save the wild and fitful glaring of the torches carried 
by the claim-makers. Before the night had entirely worn 
away the rough surveys were finished and the Indian lands 
had found new tenants. Throughout the country thou- 
sands of aci-es were laid off in claims before dawn. Set- 


tiers ri;shed in by hundreds, and the region so lately tran- 
quil and silent felt the impulse of its change and became 
vocal with the sounds of industry and enterprise." 

Thus, October 11, 1845, may be fixed as the date of com- 
mencement of the civil life of the county. New settlers 
commenced arriving freely and taking up lauds for their 
homes, new settlements were commenced in different por- 
tions of the county, and soon followed civil officials, law 
and order. In six mouths after the military rule and 
Indian occupancy had ceased the countj- of Polk was duly 
and legall3r organized. 

The act of the Territorial Legislature creating Polk 
county and fixing its boundaries was approved January 
17, 1.S4G. The territory comprising the new county had 
been fully opened to white settlement only some three 
months prior to this date, October, 1845, and only about 
two and one-half years after the establishment of Fort 
Des Moines. Polk county, different from most of the 
other new counties in the state, was not attached for a 
time to any other county, though for a time the jurisdic- 
tion of Mahaska county extended over a portion of the 
territory from which it was carved. It served no period 
of tutelage or probation, but at once sprang into a state 
of independance and self-reliance. It has been well said: 
"It gave i^romise from the first of its future prominence. 
Its geographical location, physical features, and the char- 
acter (if its first settlers, all prophesied its future great- 
ness and its ultimate selection as the capital or head 
county of a great and prosperous state." 

This county organization was made by an election held 
April 6, 1846, and on April 13 the 'first board of county 
commissioners met and organized, Benjamin Saylor and 
W. H. Meachem being the commissioners present. Eri 


W. Fonts, tlie |hird member of the board, was present 
oil 1lie second day. Perry L. (L'rossnian Avas county clerk, 
William McKay, clerk of the board; William F. Ayers, 
county treasure^; Thomas McMillin, rec<n-der of deeds; 
A. I). Jones, county surveyor, and James Phillips, cor- 
oner. Thomas Mitchell was the or;j;aniziui.i sheriff, and 
was duly elected, at the first election, sheriff for a full 

This was iuApril, 1.840, some six months after the lapse 
of the Indian title and the opening of the lands to settlers. 
At the first election there were only three voting precincts 
in the county: Fort Des Moines, at Thomas Mitidiell's 
house on Camp Creek, and at the Allen & Parmelee mill 
on Middle liiver, now in Warren county. There is no rec- 
ord of number of votes jjolled at this first election, but it 
must have been very small, although the population of 
the town and county combined in 184G was placed at 

The General Government having given the fort reserva- 
tion to the county, the latter also came into possession of 
all the buildings erected and occupied previously by the 
troops, and many of these Avere occupied as homes by the 
first settlers of the town, a few of them being utilized by 
the county officers. NeAV buildings, mostly one-story 
frames, were ]'a])idly erected, ami places f(jr business and 
homes for the newconu'rs Avere (piickly provided. As was 
natural, foi' several years business centered around the 
old fort buildings at "The Point," and along the loAver 
parts of First, Second and Third streets, ami it Avas eight 
or ten years before "stores" and other places of l)usiness 
AA^ere opened (ui Gourt avenue and Walnut street. After 
the first rush at the opening the increase of ]io])ulation 
was not as ra]»id as might have been expected, as from 


18J:(J to 1847 a .i;ain of less than six liiuidred appears to 
have been made in the jtopuhitiou of the eounty. Then it 
became move rapid, ami in 1850, less than five yeai's after 
tlie Indians luu'i left, the total jiopnlation of the county 
had jnmjied from 1,301 to 4,513. 

A. ]>. Jones, Avho ])]atted as a sur\'eyor the original 
town of Fort l)es Moini^s, in his reminiscences before the 
Early Settlers" Association, gi\-es the names of the prin- 
cipal citizens of the new town in An<;nst, 184(). They 
were : 

Ezra Kathbnn, father, two young ladies and two young 
men; 1). Bolenberger and wife, W. W. (lapp and wife, 
James Campbell, wife and two or three children; Mr. 
Thorp and several children, Mr. Morris, wife and children, 
Sam Vanalter, wife and children; B. T. Hoxie, wife and 
children; Martin Tuclcer, Avife and several children; Col- 
onel Thomas Baker, wife and several children; Mr. Ca- 
vee, wife and two children; William Wai'd and wife. 
Perry Wear and wife, William F. Ayers, wife and chil- 
dren; Addison Michael, wife and child; Colonel John 
Rose, wife and children; Mr. Crowe and wife. Perry L. 
Crossman, wife and child; Joseph Thrift and family; John 
Ehle, wife and child; Mr. Busick, wife and children. The 
following names of young ladies are given: Misses Mary 
Thorp and sister, Melissa Hoxie, Letitia Tucker, Miss 
Kirkbide and Jemima Scott. Of the unmarried gentlemen 
there were: George A. Michael, Dr. Kirkbride, Thomas 
McMullen, P. M. Casady, L. McHenry, Louis Whitten, 
Major William 'McKay and Jonathan and Levi Rath- 

During the ])eriod, from 1845 to 1850, the town of Fort 
Des Moines continued to increase in iiopulation, but not 
with the rapidity of after years. In some respects it was 


of slow growth during these five years. The town was not 
then incorporated, thongh the town had been officially 
declared the county seat in 1846, and in June of the same 
year A. I). Jf»nes, county surveyor, had been ordered to 
plat the town. The grounds occupied by and reserved as 
the military post, had by act of Congress been granted 
to the county for the purpose of a county seat, and one 
hundred and forty-three and one-third acres entered in the 
names of the county commissioners under the pre-emp- 
tion laws of the liuited States. Surveyor Jones com- 
pleted the platting of the original town, and on July 8, 
1846, B. Saylor and W. H. Meachem, county commision- 
ers, executed a deed of dedication of the streets, alleys, 
public grounds, etc., and made an official filing of the 
original plat. It was ordered that the lots be sold at pub- 
lic auction on Juh^ 15, 1846, and that notice of this sale 
be published in the Iowa City Reporter, Burlington 
Ilawkeye and Keosauf|ua Democrat. Then Des Moines 
had no newspaper, and now it has more population, ranch 
more, than all three of the cities mentioned, and news- 
papers by the score. These lots were sold on the following 
terms: "One-sixth cash in hand, the balance in three 
equal installments, in six, twelve and eighteen months.'" 
The sale was' well attended for that day, but only a com- 
paratively small portion of the lots Avere then sold. Lots 
were then and afterAvardsi:>urchased for less than one hnn- 
dr(-d dollars, ^Ahich have since sold for nmu}' thousands 
of dollars. The lots not sold at public sale were subse- 
ipiently all sold by the county to private purchasers', and 
in a year or two were all disjiosed of. The lots lying 
toAvards "The Point" on Second Street, commanded the 
highest ])rice, the lot on the corner of Second and Market 
bringing .|106. The high priced Walnut street lots of 
today were then about the lowest in price. 


The first "grocery" permits granted by the board of 
commissioners were to W. W. Clapp and Addison Mich- 
ael, who paid twenty-five dollars a year for the privilege 
of selling intoxicating liquors. They were among the 
first of the dealers in groceries, dry goods, etc. Benjamin 
T. IToxie was also one of the first, if not the first, to open 
a general store for the sale of goods. James Campbell 
was also one of the first, with a general store, and also 
sold licinors. For a number of years he "\^'as a leading mer 
chant, and is now a well known resident of tlie city. Chap- 
man & Thompson, general store; B. F. Allen and Sam Y. 
Keene, general store; William Krauss, clothing, etc. ; A. 
Xewton, general store; L. D. Winchester, drugs; D. P. W. 
Day, dry goods, etc.; Jesse Dicks, hardware; Charles 
Good, drugs; W. W. Moore, drugs, and afterwards gen- 
eral store; John Tyler, Peter Myers, and Wiley C. Moore, 
clerks and dealers; C. D. Reinking, furniture; William 
Deford, blacksmith; William F. Ayers and Joseph M. 
Thrift, tailors; Martin Monshun, livery, hack line and 
mail carrier. 

In Januarj^, 1S47, the board of commissioners decided 
upon building a court house for the county and asked for 
plans for the same, but not until the following October 
were plans adopted. October 7, it was ordered that a 
court house be built upon lot 7, in block 7, in the original 
town of Fort Des Moines. This is where the Wabash and 
Des Moines Union railroad depot now stands, south of the 
present court house. It was ordered: "vSaid house shall 
be twentj'- four feet by thirty-six feet, two stories high." 
Plans Avere ordered drawn for this by John C. Jones. 

Subsequently, November, 1847, this plan was rejected, 
and another adopted, providing for a temporary court 
house. "The size of said court house shall be 26x52 feet. 


the foundation to be of stoue, extending eighteen inches 
belo'O' and twelve inches above tlie surface of the ground; 
wall to be made of l»rick and to be tAvo stories liigh; loAver 
oi- basement story to be nine feet high, and the thickness 
of the wall in the lower story to be eighteen inches; upper 
story to be eight feet high, and the thitdvuess of the wall 
in said story to be hfteen inches." And Louis Whitten 
\>'as "allnwod" to i>rocnre a draft and specitications of the 
foregoing plan, and it A\as oi-dored that a contract be let 
at tlie follo'\\-iug January term. January *>, 1S48, there 
appeared tliree bids; \\'. A. Scott, -f 4,9!t9.99; W. W.Jones 
and W. II. dose, |2,!)00; John Saylor, .f 1,950.50. Some 
alterations were mad'' in the plans and the c<intract was 
let to John Saylor for $2,050. Saylor commenced upon 
his contract, which was to enclose the building in one year 
and com]ilete the same in 1849. But it appears that he 
did not fully comply with his contract, as it was not com- 
pleted in January, 1850, and the board released him and 
contracted with Samuel Oray, ])lasterer, aiul John (\ 
Jones, car])euter, to complete the A\'ork. The court house 
appears to have been tinished in 1850, and after being in 
tise some eight or ten years for county and other purposes, 
was abandoned, and in 1868 was sold to the trustees of 
the Christian cliurth. It was afterwards sold by the 
( hurch and a i)ortion of it is m)w used as a railroad depot. 

The Star, the hrst news])aper, made its appearance in 
1849, and was soon followed by the ( razette. To show the 
improvements made during these five years, the (Tazette 
of Jantiary, 1850, gives a list of all the grist and saw mills 
in I'olk county at that time, as follows: 

Hi<dvman's saw mill on Beaver Creek-, nine miles above, 
with a capacity of about 10,000 feet of lumber per day. 


Stutsman's saw mill, on Big Creek, fifteen miles up the 
Des Moines Iviver, capacitj'^ 2,500 feet per day. 

Gilpin's saw mill, eight miles up the river, 1,000 feet 
per clay. 

Thompson's saw mill, on Four Mile Creek, 1,000 feet 
per (lay. 

Napier's saw mill, on Four Mile Creek, with a caf)acity 
of 2,000 feet per day, and also had a run of burs for grind- 
ing wheat and corn. 

Keeny's saw mill, on Xorth River, six miles frcjm the 
mouth, 2,500 feet of lumber per day, and also a run of burs 
for grinding corn. There was also another saw mill a 
few miles from Keeny's, with a capacity of 2,500 feet per 

Wright & Stump, saw mill in Dallas county^, twelve 
miles up Raccoon River, capacity 2,000 feet per day. 

B. F. Jesse, saw mill on Walnut Creek, capacity 2,000 
feet per day. ^ 

Snodgrass, saw mill on Beaver Creek, six miles from 
town, capacity 2,500 feet per day. 

The first mill in the limits of the citj', was perhaps, 
one built by W. H. Meacham. It was a circular saw, 
propelled by horse power, and could run about 1,500 feet 
of lumber per day. 

About 1850 B. F. Allen and C. C. Van built a steam mill 
within the present corporate limits, and shortly after, 
Dean & Cole erected a steam grist and saw mill on the east 
bank of the river, l)etT\een Locust and Grand avenue. 
This was completed in 1850, and was in many respects 
superior to any previously built in the county. It sup- 
plied for a number of years, flour and meal for most of the 
country around, and in a year or two the mill was further 



improved, and devoted exclusively to the mauiifacture of 
floiir and meal. About 1855-6 it passed into the control 
of Sheperd, Perrior & Bennett, who for fifteen or twenty 
years thereafter ran the mill with much success. 

Grist and saw mills were then most important auxilia- 
ries in building up town and county. Flour and meal were 
needed for food, and the lumber was required for the erec- 
tion of dwellings, store rooms, barns, stables, bridges, etc., 
and without these mills the growth and prosperity of town 
and county woiild have been greatly retarded. Then 
there was little shipping in of pine and other lumber and 
the cost of building was heavy. Without the use of native 
lumber building would have stopped. Then there was 
thrice the amount of native lumber used comparatively 
with the present day, when railroads and other changes 
have brought lumber of all kinds from a distance to be 
used in the construction of buildings and for other pur- 

Another very important matter occurred during this 
five years. The settlers were at last enabled to secure 
titles from the United States to the lands which they had 
theretofore held only as aliens. April 8, 1848, at a meet- 
ing held in Fort Des Moines, a Claim club was organized 
for the purpose of protecting the settlers in hold- 
ing their claims, and also to aid them in duly 
entering the same at the United States land oftice 
at Iowa City where these lands were offered at 
public sale, and made subject thereafter to pri- 
vate entry. The public lands in Polk county were all sur- 
veyed in 1847, and opened to entry in October, 1848. R. 
L. Tidrick was appointed the agent of the settlers to 
attend the land sales and bid off the various tracts of land 
claimed by the settlers of the county. He went to Iowa 


City in October, 1848, accompanied by a nnmber of deter- 
mined men selected from among the settlers, and there 
purchased all the lands claimed for the settlers, with very 
little trouble. There were more than one hundred mem- 
bers of the Polk County club vitallj^ interested in secur- 
ing their respective homes and land. After the public 
sale, entries were rapidly made of other lands in the 
county. More details of this club and the original entry 
uf land are given in another chapter of this worl^. 

The first term of the district court ever held in the 
county commenced April 6, 1816, Hon. Joseph Williams, 
territorial judge, presiding, and thiis the courts were 
opened and continued open for the protection of the peo- 
ple and their rights. The county organization had been 
perfected previously to the holding of courts, and in a few 
years the incorporation of the town folloAved. Until 
incorporated the township officers exercised their powers 
the same as in other townships, and the county commis- 
sioners exercised more or less control over affairs. 

A. D. Jones, who first platted the town of Fort Des 
Moines, writing to the Early Settlers' Association in 1868, 
gives some very interesting details of Fort Des Moines and 
Polk county. Mr. Jones arrived in the town on February 
13, 1846, and on the next day attended a 'political mass 
meeting and was nominated for the office of county sur- 
veyor and also acted as secretary of the meeting. In 
those days the new-comer did not have to wait long before 
he was eligible for office. The facts were, they were all 
new settlers. At that time the contest was between the 
town of Brooklyn, on the east side near the present limits 
of the city, and Fort Des Moines, as to which should be the 
county seat. The fight was a warm one, as all these fights 
are apt to be, and finally to decide the matter the General 


Assemblj appointed Thomas M. Hughes, of Johusou, M. 
Z. Williams, (if Mahaska, and Giles M. Pinneo, of Scott 
connty, to make the location. It may seem strange to 
us of this day, but the fact was there Avas doubt for a time 
as to which of the competing towns would be the winner. 
The commissioners were slow in organizing and getting 
to work, and local excitement ran high. It is mentioned 
as a historical fact that Dr. Fagan, Thos. Mitchell and two 
others went to Iowa Cit}' (then no pleasant journey in the 
winter time), to lobby in the General Assembly, and by 
their efforts secured the passage of an act transferring 
the four northern townships of Warren coimty to Polk 
county. This threw Fort Des Moines more in tlie center 
of the county, added to her friends and helped secure 
finally the county seat. Thf)se townships were a few 
years later returned to Warren connty, where they really 
belonged. They were only borrftwed for a little time on 
a special occasion. This county seat trouble was finally 
and let us all hope, forever settled by the action of the 
commissioners who selected Fort Des Moines as the 
place. After a little grumbling this action of the com- 
missioners was cheerfully acquiesced in by all the inter- 
ested parties, and Brooklyn disappeared with many 
another once ambitious but now dead and forgotten town 
of Iowa. The commissioners traveled over ,the county 
for more than one week looking at proposed county seats, 
among others taking a look at Uncle Jerry (Jhurch's new 
town of Dudley, some two miles east of the present town 
of Carlisle, in Warren county, but, much to Uncle Jerry's 
chagrin, ])ronounced it too low and subject to overtlow. 
However, when a year or two later the waters of the Des 
Moines covered all his town site he was forced to admit 
the commissioners were not without good judgment. On 


May 25, 1846, the people of Fort Des Moines aud their 
friends had a grand jollification over the action of the 
commissioners, firing log and other guns, giving a big din- 
ner, and closing with speeches, music and dancing. They 
were happy; Fort Des Moines was the county seat of Polk 

Mr. Jones states: "March 1, 1846, the first marriage 
was solemnized between John Beard and Mary Jane Wel- 
man, by Jle\. Mr. Post. The license was procured fr(jm 
Marion County." 

A. D. Jones' opponent for county surveyor got more 
votes than he did on the face of the returns, but Joues 
contested and secured the office, aud by virtue of it com- 
menced the survey of the town of Fort Des Moines on 
June 4. 1846. 

Among the items of interest given by Mr. Jones in his 
letter are the following: 

"Martin Tucker started the first hotel. The first 
preacher of Polk county was Ezra llathbun, Methodist, 
and about the smartest preacher we ever had in the 
county. Besides that he was a gentleman, and not to 
disparage others of his profession, he was every way their 

"On Jnne 10, 1846, the first marriage license in the 
county was issued to Benjamin Bryant and Barbara Elvira 

"We celebrated the Fourth of July, 1846, with Tom 
Baker, orator; Major McKay, reader of Declaration of 
Independence; Messrs. Winchester, France and iricott, 
marshals, and myself acting as president of the day. 
Toasts were read and cheered. About two hnndred peo- 
ple were in attendance. The day was very warm. Din- 
ner, one dollar per couple. A dance was hehl at night. 
Take the day through it was a pleasant and jolly gath- 

"The lawyers in town July 23, 1846, were: Thos. 


Baker, W. D. Frazee, P. M. Casadj', L. D. Winchester and 
William McKay. Phj'siciaus: Dr. Fagan, a graduate 
of St. Louis, aud Dr. Kirkbride. 

"One store, assessed at $1,500, kept by B. T. Hoxie, one 
dry goods and grocery store, by A. Michael, a grocery and 
provision store, by W. W. Clapp, a grocery (saloon) and 
place of amusement, by J. Campbell, a tavern by M. 
Tucker, an apothecary shop, by L. D. Winchester, a turner 
and chair factory, by Mr. Van Matlang, wagon maker 
and carpenter, D. Solenberger, millwright, John Ehle, 
and W. F. Ayers, tailor, A. Michael, justice of the peace, 
and Jesse I\. Miller, constable. Methodist church with 
two ministers, Ezra Eathbun aud father, and a, Baptist 

"July 23, 181G, I made it my business to take the census. 
There were eleven young ladies and thirteen young gen- 
tlemen, who were proper subjects for matrimonv- 

"A very perceptible difference formerly was noticed in 
reference to the waters of the Des Moines and 'Coon rivers, 
the former being much the warmer at the same hour." 

On the original site of Des Moines Avere several mounds, 
the principal ones being where W. W. Moore's buildings 
and Wonderland Museum now stand, corner f>f Fourth 
and Walnut streets, and also on the court house square. 
It is claimed by some that they were i)rehistoric work, 
and the Indians knew nothing of their origin. A. D. 
Jones, the surveyor, however, claims they were nothing 
but the debris and accumulations around the fallen resi- 
dences of Indians formerly inhabiting this region. He 
contends they were not graves, though it is claimed the 
early settlers found in them human bones and other relics. 
W. W. Moore l)ouglit the bhxdc mentioned in 1852 for .f (300, 
and lived with his family for several years in a neat 
frame cottage perched high above the present grade. He 
yet owns most of the block which is now Avorth much more 
than one hundred times what he paid for it something 
over forty years ago. 


W. W. Moore says the first Sunday after he arrived 
in Fort Des Moines there was a horse race, attended by 
many pef>ple, and stores were open as usuah He dis- 
played goods in front of Lyon & Allen's store the same 
as npon other days. The original Indian race track ran 
diagonally from abont where the Kirkwood Honse stands 
towards and Avest of the conrt honse sqnare, passing over 
the ground where the Methodist church once stood, and 
where now is the large Iowa Loan and Trust building. 
There were many exciting races over the track in the 
early days. Later there was a race track further west, aaid 
in 1855 Dr. James Campbell and others arranged a race 
track on the bottom south of "Coon River. These were 
generally running races, a single dash of one-quarter of 
a mile, and mone^' was often freely staked upon them in 
considerable amounts. Watches and other personal 
property were also frequently staked upon the results, 
and in a few instances it is said town lots, then not as val- 
uable as now, were wagered ou a horse race. Foot races 
were also common. The Indians were very fond of rac- 
ing, and always had ponies they would run, and many of 
them were inveterate gamesters. They were generally 
what was termed "square gamblers," and paid their 
losses Avithout grumbling, though they not unfrequently 
werewinners from the Avliites. The latter were also fond of 
die sport and excitement and races were of frequent oc- 
currence. Later on, in 1855, shortly after his arrival here, 
the Avriter Avas induced to Avager .|40 on tAvo foot races, 
and quickly lost it all. The Avinning runner in one of 
these races has recently been running* as a canvasser for 
this History. The writer not long afterwards had the sat- 
isfaction of defeating an Indian in a foot race and thus 
recouped a portion of the money he had lost. 


The lirst drug store was opened by Dr. F. C. Grimmell, 
who, Avith his wife and five children, came from Perry 
county, Ohio. From their old to their new home they came 
OA^erland with teams, and brought not only household 
goods, but also a stock of drugs, arriving in Fort Des 
Moines on October 15, 1846. The only vacant house they 
could find for immediate use was the old square house of 
the garrison, two rooms about fourteen feet square, with 
small ircju-barred windows. Two sides of the rooms 
were filled with the drugs, etc., and the remainder occu- 
pied by the famil}' and goods. In the spring of 1847 Dr. 
Grimmell made a claim on eighty acres of land lying uorth 
from Grand avenue to School street, east to Fourth and 
west to Eighth street. At that time this valuable tract 
was covered with oak grubs and hazel brush, and in places 
it was difficult for a man to pass through it. The same 
spring the Doctor erected a log cabin where tlie large 
Catholic church now stands, and a stable on the lot where 
n((w reside the Sisters of Charity. Shortly after he 
erected a frame dwelling in front of the log cabin, and 
was much delayed in finishing the same because of the 
scarcity of finishing lumber and lime. In this building in 
June, 1848, the Doctor's daughter, Augusta, was married 
to P. M. Casady, and in this same house some years after, 
Cliarles L. Kahler, our well known business man, was also 
married. In 1850-7 Dr. Grimmell erected the fine brick 
mansion on the brow of the hill on the large lot on the east 
side of Sixth avenue, between Chestnut and Park streets. 
It was at the time, and for several years after, the largest 
and best residence in the city. Dr. F. C. Grimmell died, 
much lamented by the many who knew him, in February, 
1862. Subsequently Gen. J. M. Tuttle purchased this 
residence and Avith his family lived in it for a number of 



From 1845 to 1850 farms were beint;- rapidly opened 
and settlements made in different portions of tlie county. 
And as was to be expected, many towns sprung up, some 
of which have lived and enjoyed various degrees of pros- 
perity up to this day, while others have entirely disap- 
peared and are now only a memory of the past, Saylor- 
ville was laid out August 10, 1850, by John Baylor, and 
James Ewing built the first frame house there. Polk City 
was platted in November, 1850, by George Beebe, who 
built another mill, opened up a stock of dry goods and 
groceries, sold lots and generally pushed the town. John 
Houser laid out the rival town of Montacute a few miles 
south, and had there a general store, post office, etc., but 
in a few years the town practically ceased to exist. The 
town of Coiydon, on the river, was started later, in 1853, 
and flourished moderately for a time. In the latter part of 
1849 Dr. A. Y. Hull and his associates became interested in 
the town of Lafayette, previously started by Charles 
Freely, on the Des Moines River, in Camp township. 
There was a public sale of lots January 12, 1850, they 
selling at a low price with the understanding the pur- 
chaser would build upon the same. The result was a 
number of houses, generally small, were soon erected in 
the town. The settlement of the town actually com- 
menced in 1848, though the public sale of lots was not had 
until two years later. The town of Adelphi, a fe^v miles 
above, Avas also named and settled at a later date, by Val- 
erius Young, in 1850. Jerry Church's town of Dudley, 
in Allen township, was also located by him at an early day 
and he had high hopes of its future prosperity, but these 
were all drowned out by the floods of 1851 and the high 
waters of subsequent years. Other towns may have died 
natural deaths, but the floods swept Uncle Jerry's away. 


By the bei;iuiiiiig of 1850 farms Avere opened in every 
portion of the county, though these settlements were then 
frequently some miles apart, and there were in the county 
broad stretches of prairie Avhere not a single house C(nild 
be seen. In those days the new settler thought he must 
settle, if possible, in or near timber, and because of this 
the rich open prairie lands, now the best, were then 
avoided. A large portion of these prairie lands were 
then unenteieil and remained unsold by the Government. 
In fact it wa-i nearly ten years thereafter before all the 
available government lands in. the county were entered 
either for settlement or speculation. 

During the '4(ls the town of Fort Des Moines was small, 
but it was growing, and its citizens, as much as to-day,, 
were alive to its future possibilities. These possibilities 
were by many of them regarded as probabilities, and they 
endeavored to bring them into the field of certainties. 
It was generally understood that Iowa City was only to 
be the temporary capital of the state, and that it would 
in tinu' be removed farther west to a more central loca- 
tion. In 1848-0 the General Assembly had appointed a 
commission to select the capital, and this commission had 
chosen a location on the prairie divide between the waters 
of the Des Moines and tr^knuk rivers, near the present town 
of Monroe, Jasper county. There was not even a settle- 
ment within four miles of the location chosen. But a sec- 
tion of land was laid out in lots for a future city, and many 
of them sold at good prices. The selection was ridiculed, 
the commissioners cliarged with being fo(dish or corrupt, 
and the General Asseuibly would not approve. That ])ro- 
ject was a dead failure. But even in the '40s, as pre- 
viously stated, the citizens and friends of Fort Des Moines 
were at work and then started the project of removal 


which only a few .years later resulted in making Des 
Moines the permanent capital of the state of Iowa. Then 
there was no "divisive strife" — they all worlced harmoni- 
ously together for the common good. 

During these first years tliere were no bridges over the 
rivers, but ^V. A. Scott maintained boat ferries over both 
the Des Moines and liaccoon rivers, and these accommo- 
dated the public when the waters were too high for safe 

In glancing over a copy of the Iowa Star, printed in 
November, 1849, we find in its advertising columns the 
names of the following business and professional men 
then in Fort Des Moines: 

Lawyers: John M. Perry, Lewis Whitten — Perry & 
Whitten; P. M. Casady, P. L. Tidrick— Casady & Tidrick; 
Aemilius T. Kejmolds, Barlow Granger, C. P. Jones; also 
the cards of Lysander W. Babbitt, attorney at Knoxville, 
and William T. Smith, attorney at Oskaloosa. The lat- 
ter is now a well-known resident of Des Moines. 

Physicians: E. T. Col left, I). V. Cole, J. M. Vaughn. 

Dry goods and groceries: Lyon & Allen, E. Wise & Co., 
James Campbell, P. W. Sypher, and the German store, 
clothing and dry goods of Saner >t Co., and D. V. Cole & 
Co., advertise the opening of a new drug store. 

Miscellaneous: Barlow Granger, general land agent; 
A. B. Fuller, blacksmith; J. H. Posegate, gunsmith; 
Philip Johns, boot and shoe maker; John Butler, fashion- 
able tailor; Elias Feller, boot and shoe maker. 

The card of Curtis Bates, attorney at Iowa City, also 
appears. He soon after became one of the prominent 
citizens of Des Moines. The same paper also contains a 
notice of the first sale of lots, December 10, in Indianola, 

156 anxal;>! of polk county 

the new county seat of Warren coimtj'. An advertise- 
ment of George B. Warden & Co., dealers in dry goods 
and groceries at Adel, also appears. The only hotel card 
of tlie town appearing is that of the Marvin House, corner 
of Third and Walnut sti'eets, kept by Benjamin Luce and 
William T. Marvin. B. F. Allen gives notice that he has 
lost a promissory note for .fl,000, signed by T. McMul- 
liu, and Andrew J. Stevens, secretary, publislies a school 
notice. A somewhat lengthy notice is given of a railroad 
meeting held at Winterset, and which urged the building 
of Avhat is now the Rock Island railroad. Evidently it 
was then hoped the main line of this road would pass 
through or near the then new town of Winterset. 

The Star in this issue gives an illustxatiou of how at 
that early day they all labored together in building up 
their town and county. They allowed no petty jealous- 
ies or selfish schemes to stand in the way. The Star was 
to have a comi^etitor or rival in its held, another news- 
paper, the Gazette, was to be established here by Lampson 
P. Sherman, and Col. Barlow Granger kindly and 
courteously gave it a welcome, saying: 

"We shall welcome the Gazette and hope the publisher 
will realize his most sanguine expectations. It tells well 
for the prosperity of this town — only a three-year-old — 
that two papers can be established with even a Inipe of 
being sustained. A little liberality from the different 
parties towards each other and both papers can be Avell 
kept up and assist in making knoAvu our superior ad- 

One J. P>. Newhall published, in the year named, in 
Chicago, a. book entitled, "A (Himpse of Iowa in ISKi." In 
this work he places the population of Polk county at 
1,301, but adds: "It is believed now (July, 1S4G), the pop- 
ulation will reach 1,000. Number of perscms paying ])oll 


tax this spriuy, 354. Voters in April, 190." Of tlie town 
of Fort Des Moiues tlie boolv says: 

"Tlie dragoons left ou the Sth and 10th of March, 1840, 
and after they left the permanent settlers consisted of 
four families, making all together abont twenty souls. It 
is thought there would have been more had there been 
accommodations for them." 

The book then giA'es the following: 

"For-t Des Moines Directory: Dry goods and groceries, 
B. T. Hoxie, A. Michael; hotel, Des Moines House, Martin 
Tucker; lawyers, Col. Baker, W. D. Frazee, William Mc- 
Kay; jihysicians, Dottors Fagan and Kirkbride; churches, 
two regularly organized, Methodist and Baptist, and one 
resident minister. Key. E. Rathbun; two groceries, one 
carpenter shop, one wagon maker, one blacksmith, one 
cabinet maker, one plasterer, bricklayer, etc.'' 

How would this brief directory compare with the large 
and voluminous Des Moines Business Directory of fifty 
years later— 1896? 


While to some the government plan of land surveys 
is familiar, yet by many it is not fully understood, and 
this brief explanation which we find in a former history, 
may not be out of place in this volume. 

The government system of land surveys provides for the 
division of the countrj' into small square portions of uni- 
form size, varying from that sha])e only when large rivers 
or lakes make it necessary. To begin such a division of 
lands there must be some fixed points to measure from. 
The first lines started from such points are of two kinds: 
Principal meridian, running north and south, and base 
lines, running east and west. The first lines were com- 
mence<l in the eastern part of the country which was first 
settled, and the first line established was called the First 


Pr'incipal meridian. As tlie surveys were exteuded 
west otiier principal meridians were establislied. The 
laud surveys of Polk county and nearly all of Iowa are 
reckoned from the Fifth Principal meridian. The point 
which fixes the location is the mouth of the Arkansas 
River. It was due north through Missouri and a portion 
of eastern Iowa and strikes the Mississippi River again at 
the dividing line between Dubuque and Clayton counties. 
At a distance of six miles west of this is run another line, 
and the land between these two is called range one west. 
Another parallel line is run six miles further west, and is 
called range two west, and so on are these ranges number- 
ed until we come to Polk county, the east line of which is 
range twenty-two west. 

The point which fixes the location of the base line is 
the mouth of the St. Francis River, in Arkansas. This line 
runs east and west. Six miles north of it extends an- 
other parallel line, and the land between the tAvo lines is 
designated township one north. This is continued, a par- 
allel line everj^ six miles, until we come to the seventy- 
seventh, numbering from the base line, which forms the 
southern boundary of Polk county. Six miles north of it 
extends the sevent,y-eighth, and the land between the two 
is called township seventy-eight north. It will be observ- 
ed the meridian and base or township lines cross each 
other every six miles. These six miles square parcels are 
called congressional townships and are unchangeable. 
The civil townships are different, as they can be and fre- 
quently are changed by the county authorities. 

In surveying what are called wild or unsurveyed lands 
the first work of the surveyors is to establish the township 
lines, after which each township is divided into thirty-six 
sections, each generally containing 640 acres, though they 


may overrun or fall short of this by corrections made on 
the north and west lines of a township, or because of rivers 
or lakes. This work is under the supervision of the sur- 
veyor general of the district, while the work in the field is 
done by deputy surveyors and often by contract. A sur- 
veying party generally consisted of about seven persons. 
One chief in charge of the instruments, two chain beareiis, 
one stake driver, one flagman and oue cook. They gener- 
ally worked every day regardless of the weather and slept 
at uight in their tent. They occasionally had some rough 
exi:)erieuces, but generally managed to extract some en- 
joyment while at their work. Hon. Ira Cook, formerly 
mayor and for many years a prominent citizen of Des 
Moines, was for some time with a surveying party near 
by and west and north of Polk couuty. The surveys of 
Polk county were all made in 1S47, from June to Novem- 

The congressional townships in Polk county are 
townships 78, 79, 80, 81, of ranges 22, 23, 24, 25 and a frac- 
tion of township 77, range 22. 


At the time of the first settlement of the county the 
lands had not yet been fully surveyed by the officers of the 
General Government, and of course were not subject to 
entry. In fact the survej's of the county were not com- 
pleted until in November, 1847, and were not open to en- 
try until late in the following jeav, 1848. There were but 
one or two entries made in 1847, so that practicalh^ it was 
not until 1848 could the early settlers secure a title to their 
lands, which up to that time they held simply as "claims."' 
Sometime previous to the United States government sale 
of these lands at Iowa City speculators from the east were 
scouring the country and noting the most valuable 


tracts. This would have been all right in itself if they had 
contined their atteutious to the wholly unoccupied land, 
but they cast their covetous eyes upon lauds which were 
then occupied and being improved by the actual settlers 
at the first public sale. This would have been an outrage 
under color of hiAV upon those settlers who had endured so 
many of the hardships of a new country to secure to them- 
selves and families farms and homes. 

Mr. Turrell, in his history, the first published, gives the 
account in full which we here republish: 

"!So highly incensed did the people become at the idea of 
speculators overbidding them at the land sales, that they 
viewed every stranger with distrust, lest his errand 
among them should be to note the numbers of some choice 
tracts, and make them his own by giving prices beyond 
the reach of the claimant. A unity of feeling on this sub- 
ject filled the entire country. They were determined to 
save their claims despite any efforts or intervention to the 
contrary, and, if possible, their intention was to pay no 
uiore than the lowest government price. Strangers pass- 
ing through the country had to be careful not to meddle 
with the lands claimed, otherAvise than honestly buying 
them from the possessors. If the object was thought to 
be different, if they were suspected of being engaged in 
any scheme for the unjust deprival of any settler of Avhat 
were considered his unquestionable rights, they at once 
incurred the hostile feeling of every inhabitant, and were 
not safe until they had entirely left the country. 

"It soon became evident that some regular organization 
was needed among the settlers the better to control any 
outbreaks of popular rage, and cause non-residents to pay 
due respect to the claims which had been made, as also 
to prevent difticulties among the settlers themselves, the 
dishonest of whom did not scruple to take advantage of 
a neighbor's temporary- absence, sickness or remoteness 
from aid, and 'jump his (daim," that is, take and hold pos- 
session of it ri I't (iniiis, depriving him totally of his rights 
in the premises. The settlers, or citizens as thej nmy now 
more proi)erly be called, of Polk county, held a meeting 
to consider the ]iroper course to pursue, and iis the docu- 


ment which reports their proceedings is particularly in- 
teresting, we give it entire. Through the kindness of 
Benj. Bryant, Esq., in whose possession it has been pre- 
served, a copy of it has been procured for this work : 

" 'At a public meeting of the citizens of Polk county, 
Iowa, held on the 8th day of April, 1848, at Fort Des 
Moines, W. H. Meachem was called to the chair, and L. D. 
Winchester elected secretary of the meeting. 

" 'The object of the meeting was then stated by the 
chairman to be to adopt measures for the security and pro- 
tection of the citizens of said county in their claims 
against speculators, and all persons who may be disposed 
wrongfully to deprive settlers of their claims by preemp- 
tion or otherwise. 

" 'Dr. Brooks being called upon, made a speech appro- 
priate to the occasion, as also did Mr. Myers. 

" 'On motion of the secretary, the following gentlemen 
were appointed a committee to draft resolutions expres- 
sive of the sense of the meeting, to wit: Winchester, 
Mitchell, Scott, Sypher and Saylor. 

" 'The committee reported the following resolutions: 

1. Resolved, That we will protect all persons who do or may hold 
claims, against the interference of any person or persons, who shall 
attempt to deprive such claim-holders of their claims by pre-emptions or 

2. Resolved, That we will, in all cases, discountenance the speculator 
or other peraon who shall thus attempt any innovation upon the homes 
of the rightful settlers; that we will not hold any fellowship with such 
person, and that he be regarded a nuisance in the community. 

3. Resolved, That no person shall be allowed to pre-empt or purchase 
in any form from the government, any land which shall be held as a 
claim, unless he shall first obtain the consent of the claimant. 

4. Resolved, That the filing of an intention to pre-empt, contrary to 
the rights of the settler, be regarded as an attempt to wrongfully deprive 
the citizen of his home and his claim. 

5. Resolved, That a committee of five be appointed, and that it shall 
be their duty to inquire into and adjust all difficulties and contentions, 
in cases where claims are in dispute. 

6. Resolved, That it shall be the duty of said committee to notify 
any person who shall pre-empt or attempt to do so, by filing his inten- 
tions to pre-empt, the claim of any other person, to leave the vicinity 
and the county; and that they have authority to enforce a compliance 
with said notice. 

7. Resolved, That we will sustain and uphold such committee in their 
decisions, and in the discharge of all their duties as defined in the fore- 
going resolutions. 

8. Resolved, That all persons be invited to sign the foregoing resolu- 
tions, and that the signers pledge themselves to be governed by, and to 
aid in sustaining the same. 


" 'The foregoing resolutions were unanimously adopted. 

" 'On motion the following named gentlemen were ap- 
pointed a committee to adjust claims: J. B. Scott, John 
Saylor, P. B. Fagan, Thomas Mitchell and Thomas Hen- 

" 'On motion, the meeting adjourned. 

" 'W. H. Meachem, Chairman. 
"'L. D. Winchester, Secretary.'" 

The resolutions were signed by the following named 

W. H. Meachem, J. B. Scott, P. B. Fagan, T. Henderson, 
T. Crabtree, W. A. Scott, W. Wear, John Myers, T. McCall, 
J. Thompson, Wm. Bradford, N. Ball, J. Bundruin, Joseph 
Deford, J. M. Kirkbride, John Saylor, John Hayes, J. H. 
Finch, P. Newcomer, Dayton Harris, John Bennett, D. S. 
Oockerham, Benj. Bennett, J. T. Thompson, N. Beeves, 
Wm. Cooper, John McMahan, Wm. Hughes, A. L. Dean, 
P. Wear, E. Keeler, James Anderson, J. Church, H. 
Everly, C. B. Myers, D. L. Jewett, David Norri^!, Wm. 
Busic, Jr., Charles Kurvey, R. A. Harban, J. D. McGloth- 
lin, Wm. Lower, Jacob Baycus, Solomon Bales, Geo. 
Daily, L. Garrett, A. N. Hayes, G. W. Lacy, George Knoop, 
Asa Flemming, Thos. Gilpin, John Miller, D. S. Bowman, 
Charles Murrow, Robt. Hopkins, Joseph Keeney, James 
Phillips, L. D. Winchester, John Saylor, T. Mitchell, 
Benj. Saylor, H. D. Hendricks, T. Campbell, G. Maginniss, 
J. C. Jones, J. Frederick, It. W. Sypher, Saml. Kellogg, 
Wm. Garrett, W. F. Ayers, John S. Dean, Eli Keeler, 
George Oglevie, Wm. Kuren, T. K. Brooks, Joseph Myers, 
J. Tribee, J. G. Tuttle, B. Perkins, Jacob Winter, D. 
Haworth, S. W. McCall, Montgomery McCall, A. W. Hob- 
son, B. F. Frederick, Wm. Busic, Sr., E. Compton, John 
Wildy, J. Harris, H. Huntington, John Baird, W. B. Binte, 

B. J. Saylor, George Krysher, 0. Stutsman, D. S. Marts, 

C. S. Evans, David Miller, James McRoberts, Franklin 

"Several other meetings followed this first one through- 
out the summer of 1848, and the last one was held during 
the same year just a short time before the land sales be- 
gan at Iowa City. This meeting was an immense affair, 
its chief object being to elect a bidder to attend the sales. 


"R. L. Tidrick was elected bidder, and a platoon of men 
were selected from the club whose duty it was to thor- 
oughly arm themselves and accompany the bidder in the 
capacity of an escort Mr. Tidrick and his bodyguard 
attended the sales, and such a formidable array did they 
present that the rights of settlers were not interfered 
with. The claims were ultimately secured at the mini- 
mum price of |1.25 per acre, and the matter was as a gen- 
eral thing finally adjusted amicably." 

There were, however, a few instances in which difficul- 
ties sprung up that were not so amicably adjusted. We 
reproduce two incidents of this character as related by 
Mr. Turrell in his reminiscences. 

"In the spring of 1849 occurred what was called the 
Flemming and Perkins difficulties which, arising from a 
subject particularly relating to the settlers, threatened 
for a time to prove very serious. The difficulty at first 
sprung from a contention about land. Asa Flemming 
had made a claim a few miles below Des Moines, and B. 
Perkins, a neighbor, endeavored to preempt it, and had 
actually filed his intention to that effect. Perkins' fraud- 
ulent scheme being discovered caused great excitement 
in the vicinity, and many and dire were the imprecations 
invoked upon his head. It was also rumored that one 
Holland had been a partner of Perkins in the movement, 
and was to furnish the money with which to obtain the 
patent from the United States, but the truth of this report 
was never fully substantiated. 

"Perkins and Flemming were both members of the 
claim club, whose rules and regulations have already been 
given, and this circumstance proving fully the perfidious 
character of the former, enlisted an additional hatred 
against him. Non-residents and strangersi, the settlers 
expected would encroach upon their rights. Such they 
were vigorously watching, and were prepared to counter- 
act and resist any innovations from such sources, but that 
one of their own citizens — one who was a member of an 
organization for the mutual protection of all — ^who had 
bound himself to abide by the club laws, and whose in- 
terests if jeopardized would have been amply guarded 
from danger would prove recreant to every sentiment of 
integrity, justice and honor, was unthought of, unexpect- 


ed, and therefore the more condemned and detested. Un- 
der the circumstances Flemming easily succeeded in ef- 
fecting a combination of the settlers residing near him for 
the protection of his claim, and to administer exemplary 
punishment to Perkins. The members of the claim club 
were all ready to assist, for the interests of one were the 
interests of the whole community. If Perkins should suc- 
ceed in his plans others would follow his example; a 
claim would soon be of no value, and a general disturb- 
ance arise throughout the whole country. 

"Mr. Perkins being found one day in the vicinity of the 
claim in dispute, the settlers, led by Flemming, resolved 
to wreak their vengeance upon him, and armed and equip- 
ped themselves for that purpose. Perkins, however, be- 
came aware of their plans before they could secure him, 
and on their approach 'stood not upon the order of his 
going,' but mounted a horse and fled at once. Several 
shots were fired at him without effect, and the terrified 
fugitive flying for his life, 

'Stayed not for brake, and he stopped not for stone,' 

until he arrived at Des Moines. With a horse covered 
with sweat and trembling with fatigue, himself with- 
out a hat or coat, and almost frantic with the delusion 
that his pursuers were close upon him, he reached the 
Raccoon ferrj', and eagerly besought the ferryman, Alex. 
Scott, to lose not a moment in crossing him over the ferry 
into town, where he hoped to find a secure asylum from his 
bloodthirsty enemies. 

" 'Safely ensconced in Fort Des Moines, Perkins in a few 
days recovered from his recent fright, and growing valor- 
ous at the abuse of his foes, and the distance from danger, 
contrary to the advice of his friends, swore out a warrant 
for the arrest of Flemming, whom only he could identify, 
charging him with shooting with intent to kill. Flem- 
ming was subsequently arrested by George Michael, a 
constable, and brought before Benj. Luce, Esq., for exami- 
nation. Luce's office was in a building formerly a part 
of the fort, situated near the point. Its site is at present 
occupied by a German grocei'j^ 

While Flemming was upon his trial a mob of his 

a i 


friends, armed to the teeth, surrounded and broke into the 
office, carrying away the prisoner by main force and bid- 
ding defiance to the authorities. Eesistance to this mob 
was not for a moment thought of. Probably the unfavor- 
able opinion entertained of Perkins by the citizens of 
Fort Des Moines led them to look more leniently upon so 
dangerous a proceeding; but it is more likely that the 
absence of force on the side of the law and the sudden- 
ness of the attack rendered any opposition unavailing, 
and, therefore, was not attempted. Flemming, rescued 
from the bonds of the law, was triumphantly escorted to 
his home with every demonstration of success and exulta- 

" 'He was afterwards re-arrested, and again did the mob 
endeavor to rescue him, but their presence was expected. 
When some eighty of tliese were seen on the other side of 
the Kaccoon River, brandishing their weapons and loudly 
calling for the ferryboat to take them over, the good peo- 
ple of Des Moines grew nervous with excitement, and 
nothing less than a battle was expected. James Phillips, 
then coroner, but in the delirium of the exciting crisis, 
and doubtless over-stimulated by a few extra potations 
of brandy, styling himself a major in the army of the 
United States, proclaimed martial law in the town, and 
went around to all the stores, commanding the proprietors 
to lock up their houses in order to save their goods from 
pillage, arm themselves and be ready to act under orders. 
Many of them did so. A large crowd collected at the 
'Point,' where the band of insurgents could be plainly 
seen, endeavoring to gain passage over the stream, and 
could be heard uttering loud threats against every power, 
judicial, executive and military in Fort Des Moines. 

" 'But by the coolness and intrepidity of Alex. Scott, 
the ferryman, their riotous project was completely frus- 
trated. He calmly and firmly refused to take them over 
unless they unarmed themselves. They stormed, cursed, 
threatened, but not an inch would he let the boat go until 
they stacked their arms, and laid aside every offensive 
weapon. Unmoved by their threats and unprovoked by 
their maledictions, Scott resolutely adhered to his pur- 
pose, and finally the mob sullenly stacked their arms, and 


then, and not till then, were they ferried across the Rac- 

" 'Armed intervention was no longer practicable, and 
Flemming was examined, the charge found true and he 
was obliged to give bonds for his appearance at the next 
term of the district court However, he finally escaped, 
as the grand jury failed to indict him. Perkins found his 
conduct, in reference to pre-empting Flemming's land, 
so universally condemned, and himself an object of 
such general detestation, that he was glad to ex- 
ecute to Flemming a bond, in which it was stip- 
ulated that the latter should have a warranty 
deed for the claim in dispute, as soon as a patent 
could be procured from the Government, upon paying to 
Perkins the sum of one dollar and twenty-five cents an 
acre. The execution of this bond ended all persecution, 
suits and riots in the case, but Perkins was but little es- 
teemed ever afterward.' " 



DURING the five years to which this chapter will be de- 
voted — 1850-5 — the growth of the county and town 
was continuous and rapid, especially in the latter 
portion of this period. At a local election in 1850 for jus- 
tice of the peace there were 185 votes polled in the township 
of Des Moines, of which L. D. Winchester received 99, and 
Samuel Gray 86. The vote of the entire county for that 
year is not given, though the entire population of the 
county, as given in the federal census of that year was 
4,513. It will be seen the population of the county was 
then many times larger than that of the town, and it 
was a number of years later when the city surpassed 
in population that of the county outside thereof. In 1852 
there were 1,232 votes polled in the county, of which only 
244 were cast in the town. The population of the town 
was then placed at 502, but this may have been a mistake. 
The general rule is to multiply the number of votes by five 
to estimate population, and this would give the town a pop- 
ulation of more than 1,000 in 1852. Yet it is the entire 
vote of Des Moines township which is thus counted, and it 
covered then a large amount of territory outside the limits 
of the town, and hence 502 may be the correct figures for 
the actual population of the town at that time. 

The town of Fort Des Moines came into existence in 
1851. September 6, of that year "William Kraus and fifty- 
two other citizens of Fort Des Moines," so runs the record, 
petitioned Hon. F. B. Burbridge, then county judge, pray- 


ing that the inhabitants of said town may become incorpo- 
rated according to the provisions of the Code of 1850. This 
was granted and an ordermade for a special election to be 
held at the court house on Monday, September 22, 1851, 
for the purpose of voting for or against incorporation. 
Charles C. Van, Thomas McMullin and J. E. Jewett were 
appointed judges, and William T. Marvin and Lamp P. 
Sherman clerks. The election resulted : 

For incorporation 42 

Against incorporation 1 

Then an election was ordered to be held on Saturday, 
September 27, for the choice of three persons to prepare a 
charter for the town, and the following persons were voted 

P. M. Casady 16 

L. P. Sherman 9 

Thompson Bird 6 

Byron Rice 5 

R. W. Sypher 4 

Curtis Bates 4 

C. C. Van 2 

J. E. Jewett 2 

Messrs. Casady, Sherman and Bird were declared to be 
the committee, and on October 11, 1851, they reported to 
the county judge that they had prepared articles of incor- 
poration, and had named three different boundaries. The 
county judge then ordered an election on October 18, to 
decide upon the boundaries. At this election the charter 
was adopted and the boundaries of the new town fixed as 
surveyed by A. D. Jones, in June, 1846. C. C. Van, W. T. 
Marvin and J. M. Griffiths were the judges, and Byron 
Rice and L. P. Sherman the clerks of this election. In 1853 
the General Assembly, by special act, gave the town a new 
charter, which continued in force until 1857. 


At the session of the General Assembly, January, 1855, 
an act was passed making Des Moines the future capital of 
the state. For several years the friends of Des Moines had 
been working to this end, and for years they had faith in 
the ultimate realization of their hopes. The final passage 
of the act was a great triumph, and great was the rejoicing 
over the victory. It at once gave what is now termed a 
"boom" to the town, and its future greatness as a city was 
then assured. It being made the future capital of the state 
immediately attracted to it the attention of enterprising 
people all over the country, and this drew to it citizens and 
capital. While Des Moines, because of its advantageous 
and central location, in a rich and fertile country, would 
have in time grown into a great and populous city without 
the capital can be written as a fact, yet it is also a fact that 
it being named in 1855 as the state capital, made perma- 
nent in the constitution of 1857, gave no inconsiderable im- 
petus to the growth and prosperity of the leading city of 
Iowa. More concerning the capital will be found in an- 
other chapter. 

For a few years of the early '50s the attraction of the gold 
fields of California carried many of the early settlers away 
from the county, but in a year or two most of these re- 
turned, content to settle down permanently in this, the best 
country they had found. The large emigration during the 
raging of the gold fever also made a home demand for the 
flour, grain, meat, etc., produced in the county, and thus 
brought considerable financial help to the early farmers 
and business men. So, upon the whole, that California 
•emigration, while doing some harm, at the same time 
was productive of much good, and the balance was prob- 
ably upon the whole favorable to Iowa. For it is a fact 
that not a few of the subsequent citizens of Des Moines 


and Polk county were attracted here afterward by what 
they saw of the town and county while passing through 
on their way to California. 

The noted floods of 1851, the greatest known in the his- 
tory of the county, also temporarily retarded the growth 
of the town and county. This flood is famous in the early 
annals. The rain commenced about the middle of May, 
1851, and continued for weeks — some of the early settlers 
claiming the Biblical forty days were more than equalled. 
The Star of that date said: 

"Neither the memory of the oldest inhabitants, nor the 
natives, nor any traditionary accounts from the Indians, 
furnish any evidence of such a flood. The 'Coon and Des 
Moines are higher by several feet than in the spring of 
1849, which was the greatest rise in known history. The 
Des Moines is now twenty-two and a half feet above low 
water mark." 

The water in the river ^as said to have been as much 
as three miles wide in places; hundreds of acres of tilled 
lands were overflowed; cattle, sheep and swine were 
swept away and drowned, fences and even dwelling 
houses were swept away, and a large portion of the town 
was under water, and it is said the current from the Eac- 
coon River swept across the lower portion of Court ave- 
nue. Walnut and other streets, and emptied into the Des 
Moines River near the mouth of Bird's Run. 

East Des Moines was overflowed entirely up to the sec- 
ond bank, and the swollen waters covered all the bottoms 
and swept around the hill upon which the capitol now 

In the county most of the few bridges then built were 
swept away and the roads rendered almost impassable; 
nearly all the mills were forced into idleness, with the re- 


suit that flour and meal became verj' difficult to obtain for 
weeks, and many of the settlers were forced to go back to 
pounded corn, hominy and "samp," in lieu of other bread- 
stuffs. Jerry Church's town of Dudley, some miles below 
the Fort, was entirely covered by water, and it is reliably 
stated that Jerry himself mounted upon the roof of his own 
house and played the fiddle in philosophical content while 
he looked out upon the raging waters surrounding him. 
Lafayette, Dr. A. Y. Hull's new town, a few miles below, 
was also overflowed and the inhabitants forced to flee for 
safety to higher ground. Ottumwa, Eddyville and the 
other towns along the river were in the same overflowed 
and injured condition. Oskaloosa being away from the 
river and upon the "divide," was in a better condition, 
and the newspaper published there boasted: "Oskaloosa 
is the only dry town in central Iowa." 

Fortunately, while the loss and damage to public and 
private property was heavy, the loss of life was small. 
The only death by drowning was that of a young black- 
smith, by the name of Youngerman. While in a skiff en- 
deavoring to save some logs, with some companions, the 
boat was overturned and Youngerman was swept away 
and drowned. He was an excellent young man and his 
untimely death was much lamented by many friends. 
The high water in time passed away and the damage was 
soon mostly repaired, but the injury and loss were much 
felt during the year by the citizens of the town and the 
scattered settlers of the county. 

Another help came to the new town in 1853. This was 
the establishment of a United States District land office 
here. This was opened for business in June, 1853. The 
great rush for government lands in Iowa was then com- 
mencing, and the location of the land office here naturally 


brought to the town thousands of strangers and new set- 
tlers. The latter wanted lands upon which to settle and 
make farms and homes for themselves, while speculators, 
land agents, and men with and without money, came here 
intent upon gaining wealth from the expected rapid rise 
in value of these lands, which could then be acquired at the 
low price of |1.25 per acre in cash, or located with bounty 
land warrants at a less price. The lands embraced in this 
United States land district were the best in the state, and 
after the opening of the government office here they were 
eagerly sought after and thousands of entries were made. 
The great rush was over here by 1856, when the extensive 
grants made of lands in the state for the construction of 
railroads suspended to a great extent the further entry of 
these government lands. But for a time it made Des Moines 
the trading center for the purchase and disposal of lands 
in central, northern and western Iowa. Then could be 
found land agents and dealers in land warrants thickly 
scattered along the principal business streets and office 
room was in demand in every newly erected building. True, 
at that time, most of these buildings were one and two- 
story frames, often roughly and hastily constructed, but in 
these much business was transacted. At that time the 
Government received nothing but gold and silver in pay- 
ment for all cash entries of land, and consequently in the 
rude offices of those days there were frequently many 
thousands of dollars, in gold and silver, together with 
considerable currency. There were few safes and none 
of the vaults of the present day. And yet, notwithstand- 
ing this large amount of money, kept, apparently, in such 
an unsafe manner, with the town constantly filled with 
travelers and strangers, the robberies and stealings were 
very few and small in amount This fact has been often 


noted and commented upon, and it speaks well for the 
character of the men here at that early day. At this time 
were large amounts of money kept and handled in the 
same manner as then robberies would be frequent and 
large. Crime advances with as rapid strides as does 
material growth and prosperity. In another chapter a 
more full account of the operations of the United States 
land office are given from the government records at 

Prior to 1855 the only brick house in the town, except the 
court house, was a one-story brick dwelling' erected by L. 
D. Winchester, on the corner of Court avenue and Fourth 
streets, where the Valley bank is now located. About 1854 
this was purchased by Captain F. R. West, and there he 
made his hospitable and pleasant home for a number of 
years. A year or two later Benjamin F. Allen, who had 
recently married Arethusa, the oldest daughter of Captain 
West, built a two-story dwelling on Court avenue, on the 
lots now occupied by the Aborn House. This, when first 
erected, was considered the finest dwelling in the town, and 
Mr. and Mrs. Allen made it famous in those early days for 
good cheer and a hospitable welcome to the best society cf 
the time. 

During these years the main business houses continued 
on Second street, and "The Point" was not forsaken. The 
postoffice was on Second street, across the alley south of 
where the Shamrock House now stands, and nearly all 
the stores, groceries, law offices, etc., were on Second 
street, south of Court avenue. There were then no brick 
blocks, but on this part of Second were several two-story 
frames, among them one on the corner of Market, with a 
double front; one-half block above this was the one oc- 
cupied near the close of this period by B. F. Allen's bank; 


another north of Vine street, occupied below by Sheets 
& Lovejoy's general store, and above by the Masons, Good 
Templars, etc., as a lodge room. There was also a two- 
story frame on Elm street, fronting the public grounds 
at the Point, first occupied as a general store by Wise & 
Co., and afterwards as the home of the Star and States- 
man. In the upper room of this building the Know Noth- 
ing Lodge for a time held its meetings. Charles Good 
owned the lots at the south end of Second street and 
had his drug store on the corner one and lived with his fam- 
ily in the other frame building. The old Tucker, Harter 
or Astor House, on Market square, was a two-story build- 
ing, as was the Marvin or Everett House, near the corner 
of Third and Walnut streets. Therewas also a two-story log 
and frame building on the north side of Court avenue be- 
tween Second and Third, occupied by Dr. Wm. Baker; and 
Conrad Stutsman had partly completed a large two or 
three-story frame on the corner of Walnut and Front 
streets, afterwards so well known as the Des Moines House. 
These were about all the two-story buildings, and all 
frame, then in the town. 

And in the latter part of this period the east side of the 
tiver began to have aspirations for town or city life. As 
far back as 1849 Scott and Dean had laid off lots along the 
bottom on the east side of the river, and this was followed 
by an additon, which is now in the very heart of the busi- 
ness portion of the East Side, by Joseph M. and Harry H. 
Griffiths. And these were rapidly followed by W. A. Scott, 
Lyons and others making further additions thereto. And 
as soon as the bill was passed re-locating the state capital 
here those interested made a strong push to secure the loca- 
tion of the capitol building upon that side of the river. They 
were pushing and energetic men, had a large number of 


lots at their disposal, and they shrewdly sought to and 
were successful in making many of the influential politi- 
cians and business men of the state personally and pecun- 
iarily interested in East Side property. Among the early 
proprietors and rustlers for the East Side were: W. Alex 
Scott, John S. Dean, Dr. T. K. Brooks, Joseph M. Griffiths, 
Harry H. Griffiths, James A. Williamson, Harrison Lyon, 
Alfred M. Lyon, Dr. Alexander Shaw, Col. T. A. Walker, 
E. W. Clarke, Isaac Brandt, Will Tomlinson, and a number 
of others. 

They had this advantage: Theirs was virtually a new 
enterprise and they had everything to gain. They were, 
therefore, more united than were the residents of the orig- 
inal town, worked better together and were more liberal 
in the offer of inducement. And, as before stated, they had 
associated or interested with them many influential men 
throughout the state. This interest or influence proved a 
great help to them when it came to a definite location of 
the eapitol grounds. They were finally successful in 1856, 
and the present grounds were then definitely located. This 
was a great victory for the East Side, which had been rap- 
idly built up during 1855-6, but did not become a part of the 
city of Des Moines until 1857. This matter of the eapitol 
location is written of in another chapter. 

J. M. Dixon, for years one of the editors of the State Reg- 
ister, and known later as the "blind editor," in his "Cen- 
tennial History," thus writes of his first impressions of Des 
Moines, he coming here in 1855 : 

"There is no grander site in the country on which to 
build up a magnificent city than the one which was chosen 
for the capital of Iowa. Shrewd and sagacious men who 
had the ability to comprehend the great natural advan- 
tages of this site and who had the ability likewise, to pen- 


etrate the future, anticipating the prospective greatness 
of our city, made early investments here, knowing that the 
time would surely come in which they would reap a rich 
harvest of prosperity. Well do we remember the impression 
made upon our mind when for the first time we stood on 
Oapitol Hill and looked westward over the luxuriant land- 
scape in the midst of which the embryo city reposed in all 
its positive as well as its prophetic beauty. 

"From the eminence whereon we stood our eyes were 
cast downward along the slope of the hill, the surface of 
which was dotted by foresttrees and occasional residences. 
Further on we saw the plain, or beautiful valley, stretch- 
ing away from the base of the hill to the river, covered here 
and there with unpretentious buildings, erected by the 
pioneers of the capital city. In the center of the valley, 
penetrating it from north to south, we saw the River Des 
Moines, whose limpid and placid current flashed back a 
myriad rays of light from the suu which was smiling in 
the noonday sky as though conferring its benediction on 
the infant city. 

"FolloAving the course of the river southward we saw 
its fine tributary the Raccoon, moving in its quiet and rip- 
pling flow from the west, and bringing its mass of spark- 
ling water as a tribute of respect and reverence to the beau- 
tiful stream with v^rhich it became blended. 

"Looking beyond the Des Moines River our eyes fell upon 
the old town of Fort Des Moines, nestling in the valley, and 
impressing us with the beauty and picturesqueness of the 
prospect. Here, near the river, the dwellings and business 
houses became more numerous and more ambitious; and 
beyond these the plain which extended to the bluffs was not 
only magnificent in itself, but was large enough to form 
the site of a vast metropolis. 

"In the splendid panorama spread out before our de- 
lighted vision, we could not fail to survey with pleasure 
the bold and romantic heights, which on both sides of the 
two rivers encompassed the valley, seeming to come down 
from their tree-crowned eminences to do honor to the 
young city which was destined in time to become the 
metropolis of Iowa. Now, then, if the reader has followed 
us in our description so as to comprehend the beautiful 


scenery of this locality, with its spacious valley, separated 
by the rivers, and its cordon of wooded heights standing 
around it like invincible sentinels, watching through the 
years its progress and security, he will agree with us in the 
declaration that there is no city amid the landscapes of 
earth on which natiire in her benevolence has lavished 
more kindness than our beloved Des Moines." 


The discovery of gold in California was not without 
its effect on Polk county and Iowa. One of the main 
trails or roads of the thousands of gold-seekers was 
across the new state of Iowa, and this town and county was 
on the most traveled of these routes. This gold fever had 
its beginning in 1849, but it was not until 1850 and later 
that it raged with such extreme violence. The discoveries 
first made and the exaggerated stories concerning the same 
were talked over not only in the east but also in the cabins 
dotting the prairies and nesting in the timbers of Iowa. 
Here at that time, as often to many since, money was 
scarce and difficult to obtain. Naturally under these cir- 
cumstances the tales of gold gathered in bountiful pro- 
fusion from along the streams and gulches of California 
caused much excitement among the hardy pioneers of Polk 
county. They were the very men to be attracted by these 
golden visions, and they were better adapted than most 
others for this search for wealth under the then great and 
almost insurmountable difficulties surrounding a journey 
of thousands of miles through a barren and almost unex- 
plored country to reach the far distant Pacific coast. They 
had experiences in roughing it — knew what it was to strike 
out into and make new roads — had experienced the dan- 
gers and hardships pertaining to the settlement of a new 
country. Under these circumstances it is not surprising 


that many of the early settlers of Polk county joined in the 
rush for the gold fields of California. 

The great rush toward California was commenced in 
1850, and early in that year the emigrants, or rather gold, 
seekers, commenced pouring across the state, one of the 
main lines passing directly through Polk county and Des 
Moines. They came in wagons, drawn by horses, mules 
and oxen, even hand carts were used, and not a few started 
on their long journey on horseback and also on foot. For 
a time it was a craze, leading too often to disaster and 
death. Polk county furnished its quota to this rush of reck- 
less seekers after gold, and many families in this county 
Avere bereft by it of its head for a year or two or too fre- 
quently forever. The scenes at the time along the line in 
this vicinity is thus described by a keen observer: 

"It seemed that Bedlam itself had been let loose. A 
oontinuous line of wagons stretched away to the west as 
far as the eye could reach. If a wagon was detained by 
being broken down or by reason of a sick horse or ox, it 
was dropped out of line and the gap closed up immediate- 
ly. If a poor mortal should sicken and die the corpse was 
buried hurriedly by the wayside, without coffln or burial 
service. Wlien night came on the line of wagons was 
turned aside and their proprietors would go into camp. 
Very often the sound of revelry would then begin around 
the camp-fires thickly set on every hand, and whisky, 
cards and curses would follow in their course. These 
poor, deluded votaries of mammon scattered the dreadful 
scourge of smallpox everywhere they came in contact 
with the settlers. Game cards and broken and empty 
bottles were strewn all along their line of travel." 

The Des Moines newspapers of those days from time 
to time gave accounts of the gold hunters as they passed 
through the county. For the week ending Wednesday, 
April 17, 1850, the Gazette notes the passage of 252 wagons 
and 675 persons. Of the teams about 50 were oxen, aver- 


aging three yoke to a wagon, and 205 horse teams, averag- 
ing 3^ to a wagon, making 717 horses. For the week end- 
ing April 24 there were 199 teams and 540 men, making a 
total of 690 teams and 1,797 persons. The next three 
weeks in May there were 359 teams and 1,006 persons, mak- 
ing a total before the end of May of 1,049 teams, 2,813 per- 
sons, and over 3,000 horses and oxen. And many hundreds 
more followed after them. A Des Moines poet of that 
early day MTites in the Journal : 

"Oh, California gold mines, what a fearful curse thej-'ve brought. 

With what heartrending sorrows lias that search for dross been 

How many tearful partings and how many lives untold 
Have been laid upon the altar of this raging thirst for g*ld." 

Again, some ten years later, in 1858-60, there was the 
excitement over the discovery of gold in Colorado, when 
"Pike's Peak or Bust" became a familiar motto to the peo- 
ple of Polk county, a large proportion of the emigration 
of those years passing through Des Moines. Hundreds of 
the citizens of the county caught the fever and joined in 
this second march of civilization across the western plains. 
Made up of such material as the early settlers the nomadic 
instinct was strong in them, and it is not surprising that 
many joined in the first great rush to California and later 
wereprominentamongthegold seekers and early pioneers 
of Colorado and the Black Hills. Hundreds also in early 
days were attracted to Kansas and later on to the Dakotas 
and to Oregon and Washington on the Pacific coast. 
Many of them returned, for it is a noticeable fact that no 
man or woman ever lived for a year or two in this city or 
county without forming a strong attachment to the same, 
as is proven by the fact that hundreds and thousands in the 
past fifty years have left with the firm intention of never 
returning here to live, but sooner or later returned to the 


loved home of their adoption and here made their perma- 
nent life settlement. No better compliment than this 
could he paid to Des Moines and Polk county. 

Former citizens of Polk county can be found scattered 
all over the country, from Boston to San Francisco, from 
New Hampshire to Florida. They are leading men in New 
York, Brooklyn, Washington, Chicago, St. Louis, and the 
large and small cities of the south and west. Go into what 
town or city you may in this broad country and there you 
will almost surely find one or more men and women who 
formerly resided near the Raccoon Fork of the Des Moines 
River, and all will speak affectionately of their former home. 
They may have left the city and county but their warm 
affection remains. This universal and strong attachment 
for the place has been so often remarked and commented 
upon that it is but right it should be noted down and duly 
recorded in this History of Polk County and Des Moines. 
It was the loved countiy of the red men of the past, and is 
to-day the loved home of their white and black successors. 


The first need of every newly settled country is lines of 
communication with the older sections, from which must 
be brought not only their supplies, but also many of their 
future fellow citizens. There are always to be found enter- 
prising citizens ready to carry United States mails and 
passengers in all the new settlements of the west. Fort Des 
Moines had scarcely secured a place upon the map before 
lines of hacks and stages were projected in that direction. 
The order of evolution on all mail routes is well understood 
by those who have had any experience in the west. First, 
it is the mail carrier on horseback through the country. 
Then comes the two-horse hack, with limited accommoda- 


tions for passengers. Then follows the more elegant and 
roomy four-horse coach. Then comes the railroad, with its 
mail cars and passenger coaches, to soon evolute into dis- 
tributing postofflces on wheels, fine passenger coaches 
and Pullman or Wagner sleeping and dining cars, 
adapted for the most luxurious traveling, free to 
all who have the price — or a free pass. The change 
in the modes of traveling have been as rapid as 
has been the growth and population and wealth of Iowa, 
and especially of Polk county. Men now living in Des 
Moines, and men, too, who do not consider themselves to 
be fairly counted in the ranks of the aged, have in their 
journeys to and from their homes in this city, used all 
these various modes of conA'^eyance. They have tried them 
all. They have jolted for miles in hacks and stages, and 
perhaps had their share of carrying a rail with which to 
pry a stalled hack or stage coach out of the mud, and have 
traveled in all the coaches of various kinds provided by 
railroad companies. These are all within their own per- 
sonal knowledge and experience, and tells the story of the 
rapid progress made in means and methods of travel in 

The humble wagon or hack, as before stated, made an 
early appearance in Des Moines. One of the first mail 
contractors to run a hack between Des Moines and Iowa 
City was a gentleman named Monihan. Others soon fol- 
lowed, and other lines were put in operation. One of the 
early carriers was a gentleman by the name of Meachum. 
He was subsequently an agent of the United States Indian 
department, and was with General Oanby and others at 
that fatal interview with the Modoc Indians, when the 
General, a Methodist preacher, and several others were so 
ruthlessly slaughtered. Meachum was shot, hacked with 


knives and left for dead, but finally recovered. About 1850 
the then noted firm of Frink & Walker had control of the 
principal passsenger lines in Iowa, and pushed their hacks 
and teams from the Mississippi to the Missouri. In 1854 
they sold out most of their lines to the Western Stage 
Company, which company held the field until finally driven 
out by the railroads. 

The Western Stage companj' was practically the old 
and noted Ohio Stage company under a new name. They 
had operated extensive lines of coaches in Ohio, Indiana 
and Illinois, and being pressed west hj the advancing rail- 
road lines, took iDossession of most of Iowa, and held it 
firmly in their grasp for twenty years or more. The men at 
the head of it and most of their employes had years of 
experience, and when they moved into Iowa they brought 
with them their old agents, drivers and mechanics, as well 
as their coaches and stock. Among the i^rominent partners 
of the company were W. H. Sullivan, of Columbus, O., 
president; E. S. Alvord, of Indianapolis, Inch; Kimball Por- 
ter, of Iowa City; Messrs. Shoemaker, Talmadge and 
Camjibell, of Ohio, and Col. E. F. Hooker, of Des Moines. 

The first headquarters of the compan.y in Des Moines 
was at the Everett House, which then stood on the east 
side of Third street, near Walnut, the office being located 
there July 1, 1854. Not long after the office was moved to a 
building on the h t immediately south of the Everett 
House, where Har bach's furniture building was subse- 
quently erected. Here the office remained for many years. 
The extensive barns and shops of the company were located 
near the corner of Eighth and Vine streets, on or near 
where Getchell's lumber yards have been for many years. 
Col. E. F. Hooker, so well known to so many of our early 
and later citizens, was the general superintendent, and for 


several years resided in a frame building near the stage 
office. He afterwards purchased and removed his family 
to a, for that day, fine brick residence which stood on the 
present site of the Savery House. The first agent in Des 
Moines was a clever gentleman by the name of Smith. He 
was succeeded in a year or two by W. H. McChesney, who 
died in 1858. Mr. Cooper was also agent for a time. A. 
T. Johnson, so long a most popular resident of tlie city, 
then became the agent of the company, and remained as 
such until the company withdrew its lines from this place. 
Mr. Johnson then establislied the first omnibus line in the 
city, and conducted it successfully until his death some 
twelve or fifteen j'ears ago. He was a good man, highly 
respected by all. 

Col. E. F. Hooker retired from the superintendency of 
the companjr in 1866, and was succeeded by Richard Louns- 
bery, who held the place to the end. He was a popular 
and much esteemed citizen, who had been with the stage 
company for many years, and afterwards engaged in busi- 
ness for himself in this city. He died in 1878. His brother, 
George Lounsberj^, who was associated with Richard in 
business, is yet a well known and prosperous citizen. E. 
B. Alvord, T. R. Fletcher, E. W. Sparhawk and E. G. Sears 
were secretaries of the Western Stage company at various 
times, and resided in Des Moines. Colonel Hooker, the 
first general superintendent, soon after leaving the com- 
pany became connected with the Rock Island and the 
Union Pacific railroad companies, and continues their 
trusted agent. While his railroad duties are mostly be- 
tween here and the Pacific, Colonel Hooker yet considers 
Des Moines his home, being much attached to the city he 
so much aided in its earlier days, and here he has hosts 
of warm and devoted friends. 


When the company was in its full tide of business its 
shops and stables here were the largest in the state. The 
shops were in five departments — wood-work, iron-work, 
painting, horse-shoeing and harness-making and repairing. 
These were all under the control of A. B. Woodbury. He 
remained in Des Moines as one of its best citizens 
for a number of years and now resides in New York. Con- 
nected with the company were other well known citizens, 
among thm Charles Rommell, George Weaver and others. 

The company did an immense business from 1854 until 
a few years after the close of the war, and a number of its 
leading owners and officers became wealthy men. During 
the war the company transported many thousands of sol- 
diers to and fro in the state. Two regiments of infantry, 
the Twenty-third and Thirty-ninth, were organized in this 
city, and the officers and men were transported to the Mis- 
sissippi River by the stage company. This company was 
a great factor in the settlement and building up of Iowa, 
especially of the central portion of the state. 
It ran two main lines across the state, and had many con- 
necting lines. It met with many difficulties, had not a few 
reverses, but its number of accidents were Yerj small, and 
upon the whole it was ably and skilfully managed. Natu- 
rally, there were often complaints, and in this connection 
the writer is tempted to reprint a newspaper article, writ- 
ten and published by himself in 1858 : 

"We notice a number of our exchanges are raking down 
the Western Stage company for the manner in which they 
convey passengers over their lines. A little reflection will 
doubtless show to those who are censuring the stage com- 
pany that they are wrong in their censure. The company, 
we think, deserves the praise of the people of loAva for its 
indomitable perseverance in plowing through snow, 
rain, sleet and mud for the past eight months, imperiling 


the lives of their drivers and teams in crossing swollen 
streams to accommodate the traveling public and deliver 
the mails at the postoffices. But few persons would en- 
dure the privations and hardships which the company has 
passed through in Iowa for the past eight months for 
■double the amount they receive. We believe the company 
has done more to forward the mails and passengers than 
the public could reasonably expect at their hands, taking 
into consideration the awful condition of the roads. A 
little more work on the highways and a little more patience 
on the part of passengers would be a good thing just at this 

The last coach belonging to the company in Des Moines 
was sold to James Stevenson, of Omaha, in 1874. A. T. 
Johnson rode on the driver's seat from the old stage barn 
to the railroad depot, and as he left the old coach to proceed 
on its journey to the west, he bid it an affectionate farewell. 
With it disappeared almost the last relic of the once flour- 
ishing and powerful Western Stage company. It had had 
its day of glory and usefulness, and must disappear for- 
ever. In its place was the steam and iron and power and 
comfort of the railroad train. Good-bye to the old coaches 
and coaching days. 


1855 TO i860. 

THE building fever took possession of the citizens of 
the town in 1855 and continued to rage for two or 
three years after that date before a temporary lull 
occurred. Dr. James Campbell, yet a resident of the city, 
claims with evidence of right the honor of being the first 
to erect a brick business house in the future city. This 
was a substantial three-story brick building af'ThePoint," 
on the northwest corner of First and Elm streets, built in 
1855. This building was for several years occupied as a gro- 
cery store, and was finally destroyed some years ago. The 
first brick block was the "Exchange Block," on the corner 
of Third and Walnut. This also was erected in 1855. A. 
Newton, W. C. Burton, Byron Rice, Lovell White and one 
or two other enterprising citizens joined together in this 
work and rapidly pushed it to completion. Its front was 
132 feet on Walnut, and the first floor was divided into 
six store rooms, Avhile the two upper floors were arranged 
for offices, etc. A. Newton had a. large stock of goods in 
the east room; in the two adjoining were also dry goods 
and groceries, then followedthedrug store of Dr. Alexander 
Shaw, the banking house of Greene, Weare & Bice, and 
Macklot, Oorbin & White, bankers and brokers, occupied 
the west room. On the second floor were the U. S. land 
office, Des Moines River company's headquarters, law 
offices, and justice of the peace, and in the west rooms the 
finest saloon then in the city. Every room in the build- 
ing was more than filled and in 1856-7 this Exchange block 
was a veritable bee-hive of business and pleasure. 


The Sherman building, on the corner of Court avenue 
and Second street, was erected in 1856, by Hoyt Sherman, 
P. M. Casady and E. L. Tidrick, and was when completed 
the best building of its day in the city. The corner room 
on the first floor was occupied by the banking house of 
brahch of the State Bank of Iowa. The next room was the 
Hoyt Sherman & Co.; and aftenv'ards by the Des Moines 
postoffice and book store of Wesley Redhead, and the east 
room was a dry goods store of John Tieruan. Law and 
land offices occupied the second floor, while the hall on the 
third floor was used for public entertainments and meet- 
ings, and at various times for theatrical and concert pur- 
poses. A year or two later the county offices were mostly 
moved into the building and the hall was used as a court 
room, the adjoining i^oms being utilized for the clerk's 
office and jury rooms. These were occupied by the county 
until in the '60s the present court house was ready for 
occupancy. Then most of the city offices and council 
chamber were in the Sherman building for a number of 
years. Thus it will be seen the Sherman building was 
prominent in the early history of city and county. 

In 1856-7, Captain F. E. West erected on the corner of 
Fourth and Court avenue what is now so well known as 
the Eegister building. It was a substantial and well built 
double-front, three-story building, and the first to move 
into it was Will Porter, with his State Journal printing 
office, which occupied the third floor. The corner room 
on the first floor was occupied by the banking house of B. 
F. Allen, and so occupied until his unfortunate failure 
some fifteen years thereafter. Keyes & Crawford and after- 
wards E. A. Knight & Co., occupied the east room and part 
of the upper floors with their large dry goods store, and in 
the rear of Allen's bank was located the U. S. land office. 


For a time the present Plymouth Congregational church 
used a room on the second floor as a place of meeting and 
the other rooms were used as law and land offices. 

About this time or a little later, Dr. Wm. Baker & Co. 
built a brick three-story building on the southeast corner 
of Court avenue and Third street, to be occupied by their 
large drug store, and this building stands to-day substan- 
tially as it was originally built, and though Dr. Baker, 
one of the pioneer druggists of the citj^, has been dead for 
several years, the old firm name is yet retained. Soon after 
this was erected, Frank M. Mills & Co. built another three- 
story brick immediately east of the Baker building and 
occupied it entirely with their large book and job printing 
house, which ultimately grew to be the largest in the state 
and fully equal to the best in Chicago or the west 

In 1856, Cook, Sargent & Cook, of which firm Ira Cook 
was the resident member, built a brick building, on Wal- 
nut street, next to the alley between Third and Fourth 
streets. This was occupied by this banking house for a 
few years, and then became the property of Carter & 
Hussey, printers and binders. They added largely to the 
capacity of the building and have occupied it for many 
years with their large establishment. 

The commencement of the erection of the Savery House 
in 18.56 aided greatly in drawing business and trade from 
Second street to Walnut and bringing it "up town" as it 
was then termed. James C. Savery Avas the originator 
and prime mover of the project, and without his indomita- 
ble energy and shrewdness the Savery would never have 
been built. But of this further details are given in the 
chapter on hotels. 

One of the first brick buildings on Walnut street was a 
two-story one, built by Dr. H. C. Grimmell, near the south- 


east corner of Fifth, and occupied by him with a drug store 
on the first and a physician's office on the second floor. 
This was torn down a few years after being built. A 
small brick dwelling where the Keinldng block now 
stands, near the corner of Eighth and Walnut, was among 
the first to be built in the town. D. P. W. Day, along 
in 1855-6, built a small brick dwelling house in what was 
then known as Jonathan Lyon's addition. And it must 
not be forgotten that Kev. Nash's Baptist church built a 
brick house for their use in 1855-6 on Mulberry street 
north of the present court house, and but a few years later 
the Christian church put up the brick building at the cor- 
ner of Mulberry and Seventh streets, a portion of which 
yet remains standing. 

The years 1854-5-6 were very prosperous years for both 
city and county. The immigration into both was heavy 
and of an excellent class of people. New farms were 
being opened and good farm dwellings built in every sec- 
tion of the county, while the town was rapidly increasing 
in population and wealth. All was bustle and activity; 
land and town lots were in active demand and rapidly 
increasing in price. The town soon swelled beyond its 
first limited corporation lines, and new additions were 
platted on every side and these lots sold with astounding 
rapidity. The new town on the east side of the river had a 
remarkable growth during these three years and became 
to some extent a rival of the West Side, or original town. 
This, together with the location of the capitol on the Bast 
Side, more fully alluded to in the chapter on the capitol, 
brought about much local feeling which, for a time, engen- 
dered the animosities common to such local rivalries. In 
fact, not content with the state capitol, many of the East 
Side people had hopes of ultimately obtaining the county 


capitol or court house for their side of the river, and ' 
hence many of them were bitterly opposed to the erection 
of a new court house on the ground originally set aside 
for that purpose upon the West Side. To placate the peo- 
ple of the East Side in 1857 the county judge had made 
the new township of Lee on that side of the river, and the 
Postofflce authorities at Washington were induced to give 
them the post-office of East Des Moines. This, however, 
was discontinued in a year or two. 

In the winter of 1856-7 some of the best citizens on each 
side concluded it would be better for all to have a union 
of these somewhat discordant elements. Accordingly a 
new charter for a city covering the territory both east and 
west was carefully prepared. It gave the West Side 
^'ight and the East Side six aldermen, and had other pro- 
visions for protecting the interests of the East Side from 
the majority on the West Side, and extended the bound- 
aries so as to make the limits extend about four miles east 
and west and two miles north and south. At that time 
not a few regarded these limits as covering entirely too 
much territory, that would not be filled for scores of years. 
And yet in a comparatively few years the population did 
spread away beyond these then wide limits and in the last 
few years the corporation boundaries had to be again 
much more widely extended to bring them within the con- 
trol of the city. 

It was also decided by thisnewchartertodropforeverthe 
name of "town of Fort Des Moines," and adopt in lieu 
thereof the name as it now stands — "The City of Des 
Moines." This charter was sent to Iowa City, passed 
the General Assembly, was approved by Governor Grimes 
January 28, and took effect February 16, 1857. The first 
election under it was held on the first Monday in March, 


The financial panic and troubles of 1857 were severely 
felt in Des Moines and Polk county, as they were all over 
the country. A check was at once placed on all specula- 
tion in lots and lands, though building continued in the 
new city and the farms of the county were continuously 
improved and many new ones opened up. Yet, compared 
with former prosperity and confidence, *to use the common 
phrase, "times were dull and money scarce." It was sev- 
eral years before "flush times" again visited the city and 
county, and yet both continued to grow and prosper. There 
had been in 1855-6 too much inflation in western lands 
and enterprises, and this was one of the causes assigned 
for the financial troubles of that time, and this check was 
perhaps needed to bring all back to a proper and substan- 
tial level. But be that as it may Des Moines had natural 
and acquired advantages, and Polk county had the rich 
and fertile lands, which made their future safe after these 
temporary troubles had been met and conquered. And 
succeeding years showed these resources were a safe capi- 
tal to rely upon. 

Early in the year 1857, J. B. Bausman & Co made an 
excellent map of Des Moines and also completed a census 
of the city which was regarded as correct. The popula- 
tion as then given was as follows: 



East Side 978 

West Side 2,585 

Total city population 3,563 

It will be of interest to the reader to know the business 
men and houses of that day and we copy the list in full as 
then given by Bausman & Co., early in the year 1857. 


Practicing Attorneys — Finch, Crocker & Mitchell, Wil- 
liamson & Gray, Barlow Granger, John A. Grow, Brown 
& Elwood, J. E. Jewett, S. Reynolds, W. J. Gatling, B. P. 
Stanbury, Madison Yonng, J. C. Graves, F. M. Hubbell, J. 
S. Polk, C. W. Nash. Bates & Phillips, Samuel Elbert. 

Ambrotype and Photograph Room — Reynolds & Rider. 

Architect — Dyer H. Young. 

Bankers — Hoyt Sherman, Greene, Weare, Rice & Co., 
Lovell White, A. J. Stevens, B. F. Allen, Cook, Sargent & 
Cook, Leas & Harsh. 

Merchants — Including wholesale and retail dry goods, 
groceries, etc., Woodward & Hepburn, Ten Eyck & Hol- 
comb, Lovejoy, Thompson & Co., W. W. Moore, N. Jero- 
laman, R. W. Sypher, J. W. & A. J. Dunkle, Campbell, 
Jones & Co., Newton & Keene, Chandler & Bell, J. H. 
Hatch, Beekman & Prindar, Omer Tousey, E. H. Hart, 
W. W. Francis, Little, Garrison & Co., A. Mills & Co. 

Grocers, Wholesale and Retail — Laird Bros. & Co., 
Cavenor & Williamson, W. F. Burgett, H. M. Bush, F. W. 
Longworth, J. H. Thode, Journey & Wear, McCormic & 
Garretty, Yerger & McKee, Kappes & Reinig, M. Schot- 
tenfels, John McWilliams. 

Hardware and Stove Dealers — Galbraith & Latshaw, 
E. Sanford & Co., C. P. Luse & Co., Comstock & Co., 
Daniel Lord & Co. 

Furniture — J. M. Reicheneker, E. Tarbell, A. Alex- 

Clothing and Furnishing, Wholesale and Retail — J. & 
L Kuhn, Morris & Downer, Strauss, Simon & Billstein. 

Boot, Shoe and Leather Stores — Stacy Johns & Co., 
Kuhn, Morris & Co., Frank M. Mills, James F. Kemp, W. 
S. Terry. 


Drugfiists — G. M. Ilippee & Co., F. C. Grimmell, W. 
Baker & Co., C. Good. 

Jewelry — J. N. Newell, T\\ P. Andrews, Joseph Eogg, O. 
II. Baker. 

Newspapers — Htate Journal, Will Porter, Editor and 
Proprietor; State IJegister, John Teesdale, Editor and 

As before stated the first bridge across the Des Moines 
Piver was what is termed a "float bridge." This was 
placed in snccessfnl use in 1855 near what is now Grand 
avejiue, and some year or two later more permanent 
bridges were built at Court avenue and by W. A. Scott at 
Market street. These were wooden bridges and at that 
time were regarded as strong and durable structures, 
though both broke down within a few years. These were 
followed by a wooden bridge over the Paccoon River at 

In 1S5S came the agitaticm over the erection of the main 
portion of the new court house. For local and other 
reasons previousl}' stated the commencement of this much 
needed building was violenth^ opposed, especially by 
many on the east side of the river. Public meetings were 
held and the excitement for a time ran high. All kinds 
of charges were made and bandied about. Hon. Thomas 
H. Napier, then the county judge, stood firm during all the 
clamor and more determined the building should be 
erected. The contract for the erection of the building was 
let to Isaac Cooper, by a contract dated June 22, 1858. 
The sum to be paid to him was .|(i4,300. On May 23, 1859, 
a ])roposition was submitted to the voters of the c(mnty 
to issue bonds to the amount of i|f30,000 to aid in the con- 
struction of the new court house. This proposition car- 
ried after a sharp contest by the decisive vote of yt^as 1,017, 


nays 790. This was a virtual endorsemeut of the action of 
the county judge, and work proceeded on the building, 
though at a slow rate, owing to financial and other 
troubles, and the building was not ready for occupancy 
until 1862. Further details about the court house of the 
county may be found in a separate chapter under that 

The first brick house on the East Side was erected in 
1854-5 by Dr. T. K. Brooks, at the head of what was then 
called agncy prairie, not far from the old agency bxiild- 
ing. Part of the brick was floated from Coon bottom 
during the flood of that year, and the biiilding was com- 
pleted that fall, and for several years was the hospitable 
residence of the Doctor and his estimable wife and family. 
In 1855 W. A. Scott built a residence on Market street, 
East Side, and then and later several other brick store 
rooms and other buildings. John Slatten also about that 
time put up a large brick opposite Scott's residence. The 
first large brick building for business puri)oses on the 
East Side was built by Joseph M. and Harry H. Grifliths, 
on Locust street, east of Fourth street, which was subse- 
quently remodeled and fitted up as the Jones House, and 
occujiied as a hotel for a number of years. This building, 
though several times much changed, is yet standing. One 
of the first large business buildings on East Fifth street 
was a double front two-story frame built by Noah D. 
Haskell in 1856-7. This stood about half way between 
Walnut and Locust streets, on the east side of Fifth. 
Opposite was a two-story frame building used as a hotel, 
and known as the Cooley House and later as the Loper 
House. On the East Side, morever, a number of business 
houses and a large number of dwellings, some of the latter 
large and costly, were erected during the period from 
1855 to 18G0. 


The temporary capitol, located on the lot south of the 
capitol where the Soldier's Monument now stands in all 
its beauty, was built in 1856 and completed the follow- 
ing year. It was a three-storj^ brick and Avell adajDted 
for the purposes for which it Avas intended, and for many 
years was occupied by the state. It was not, however, 
built by the state, but by enterprising citizens, mostly of 
the East Side. Among these were W. A. Scott, Joseph 
M. and Harry H. Griffiths, Dr. T. K. Brooks, James A. 
Williamson, Dr. Alexander Shaw, Harrison and Alfred M. 
Lyon and others. Some of these gentlemen financially 
embarrassed themselves in erecting this state building. 
Subsequently the state assumed a small portion of the 
liabilities incurred. In 1857 the state archives, etc., were 
removed from Iowa City to Des Moines and late in that 
year all the state offices and officers were located in the 
temporary building. Governor Grimes then issued a pro- 
clamation stating that Des Moines was the state capital 
and directing the General Assembly to there meet and 
hold its next session. 

This first meeting of the General Assembly was a great 
event for Des Moines. The accommodations at hotels and 
boarding houses were not extensive, but the citizens hos- 
pitably came to the rescue and private houses were freely 
thrown open for the accommodation of members. Among 
others W. A. Scott and wife opened their large residence 
on the East Side, and entertained members and others in 
a most lavish manner and at great expense to them- 
selves. Others did the same. All were well taken care 
of, and it was a common saying aftenvard among old 
members that they were never entertained so royally as 
at the first session of the General Assembly in Des Moines, 
which convened in January, 1858. It was something new, 
and the citizens of Des Moines took pride in showing forth 


their liberal bdspitalitv and geuerons good will. While 
yet hospitable to all, years have made them more familiar 
and more accustomed to the visits and temporary presence 
in the city of Iowa legislators. They have now liad them 
for nearly forty years. 

During the years embraced Avithin this period there 
were more steamboat arrivals at the port of Des Moines 
than during any other period, and they were a great help 
to the merchants in I'eceiving and shipping the large 
amount of freight necessary for their large and rapidly 
expanding trade. As a general rule the stage of water 
in the Des Moines IJiver was favorable for steaniDoat navi- 
gation during the spring and early summer months and 
boat captains and owners Avere anxious to engage in this 
lucrative trade. It is stated on good authority that at 
one time during this period as many as six steamboats 
were in one day lying at the port, near the junction of 
the Des Moines and Kaccoon rivers, receiving and dis- 
charging freight and passengers. More of steamboats 
and river navigation will be found in another chapter. 

In the spring of 1857, a few days after the Spirit Lake 
massacre, there was much excitement in Des Moines and 
north of this point, over the report that the Sioux Indians 
were marching in this direction, with the intention of mak- 
ing a raid upcni the new ca])ital. In those days there were 
no telegraphs or railroads in this portion of the state, and 
the mail facilities were slow and uncertain. When these 
reports came in, how and from where not clearly stated, 
there naturally was much alarm. The able-bodied men 
were at once called out by Mayor A^'. H. Mc Henry, and 
placed under the command of Captain John V. Booth, a 
West Point graduate, who had served in the regular army. 
All kinds of arnis were hunted and hasty preparations 


made for defense. To ascertain soniethin<^ as to the 
truths of these reports W. A. Scott, Jeff. S. Polk, Brax. D. 
Thomas and others volunteered as scouts and immediately 
started north towards Boonsboro. They made a rapid 
ride and found there was little or no basis for the reports 
and that It was doubtful if a single Sioux warrior was 
then within the borders of the state of Iowa. They 
returned home and reported, and the excitement at once 
subsided. This was the last Indian scare here, though 
there were several more of them in the northwestern 
counties during the jears of the civil war. 

In May, 1857, owing to the heavy immigration of the 
previous .year and the lateness of the spring, corn, wheat, 
potatoes, etc., became very scarce and high in price. In 
that month it is reported prices ran as high as, corn two 
dollars per bushel, potatoes three dollars, and flour |6.75 
per hundred. The supply grown the previous year was 
almost completely exhausted. 

In November, 1S.56, the ITnited States Express company 
established an office in Des Moines, and has continued the 
same contiuuousl}' up to this time, their business in the 
city steadily increasing with the groAvth of the city. Dur- 
ing the first ten years they utilized stage coaches and 
wagons, where thej'^ now use the railroads. William H. 
Quick was then in the employ of this company, was local 
agent in Des Moines, and for many years he has been 
superintendent of the division, with headquarters in this 
city. The popular local agent, E. L. Smith, has also filled 
this p(jsitiou since 18()5, having been with the company 
from the time it first opened lines in Iowa. 

The total valuation of taxable property in Polk count}' 
for 1,S5(), was -14, 057, 693, and this was an increase in three 
years of over three millions of dollars. 


The spring- and summer of 1858 were very wet and back- 
ward, there being much rain in May, June and July, delay- 
ing planting and in many instances drowning out what 
had been planted, and altogether causing much delay and 
loss to the farmers, who at the same .time were suffering 
under the financial troubles which had recently come 
u])on tiiem. The roads were for months in a horrible con- 
dition, and it was with much difficulty the stages could get 
through with mails and passengers. There being no rail- 
roads tlieu in central Iowa it was with much difficulty and 
at heavy expense that goods could be hauled along the 
miry roads. Even when the harvest time came, in many 
fields, o-w'ing to the softness of the ground, reapers and 
other machines could not be used. Taken as a whole the 
year 1858 was a bad one for the farmers, and also as a 
matter of course a bad one for all the other people of the 
state. While not as bad as the floods of 1851 yet there 
were in 1858 many more people in Iowa to suffer from the 
excessive amount of rain which fell during the latter year. 

In 1859 broke out what was then termed "The Pike's 
Peak craze." This continued for two or three years and 
drew hundreds from the city and county, who started for 
Colorado in a search for gold and silver. Many of these 
returned, some in a few months and others in a few years, 
and again settled down here, but many of them remained 
and became permanent citizens of Colorado or of other 
western territories. This large Colorado or western emi- 
gration was a heavy draft upon Iowa, and Polk county 
and Des Moines suffered their full share therefrom. Kan- 
sas and Nebraska also drew heavily upon Iowa during the 
latter por-tion of the 50s, taking from the latter many 
good and enterprising citizens, and thereby much retard- 
ing the growth and prosperity of this state, and especially 


of this city and county. Yet the gains were much greater 
than the losses from these sources and the city and county 
continued to grow in wealth and population in spite of the 
hundreds, running up into thousands, attracted as stated, 
to other states and territories. And it has been often 
remarked that during the past fifty years so many men 
have left tlie city and county, determined to stay awaj^, 
but in the course of a j'ear or more have returned to 
again take up their abode here. They could not remain 
away with satisfaction to themselves and families. Des 
Moines and Polk county almost invariably win the lasting 
affections of those who reside within their borders for any 
leng-th of time. 

Money, or its representative in bank bills, had an import- 
ant part to play in the business affairs of the people here 
during the years previous to and immediately following 
the breaking out of the war. Under the first constitution 
no banks of issue were permitted to be ei^tablished in the 
state, and hence the bank bills of other states and terri- 
tories were thrown into Iowa, and formed the larger por- 
tion of the circulating medium used in the transaction 
of business. Bankers and others in Iowa became iter- 
ested in or owned charters of banks of issue outside of the 
state, and brought their notes here for crculation among 
the people of this state. The territory of Nebraska at this 
time was a new and fertile field for the organization of 
banks, nominally located in that territory, but really con- 
trolled, owned and operated by Iowa men, who circulated 
the notes of these banks in this state. The principal one 
among these many banks was the "Bank of Nebraska," 
nominally located at Omaha, but controlled and oper- 
ated through the banking house of B. F. Allen in Des 
Moines. For several years these notes were in general 


firculation in this city and county and tlirougliout central 
Iowa. No special reliance was placed upon the bank 
itself, but tlie notes were sustained and kei)t afloat by 
and through the endorsement of B. F. Allen and his bank- 
ing house in Des Moines, he and his banlv at tliat time hav- 
ing the almost unlimited confidence of the people in this 
l^ortion of the state. Hundreds of thousands of dollars 
of these Bank of Nebraska notes were placed in circula- 
tion and it is only justice to state they were all finally 
redeemed by Mr. Allen without loss to the people. 

Among the early settlers of Des Moines was Andrew J. 
Stevens. He came from New York where he had read law 
in the office of Hon. William H. Seward, and was a bright, 
intelligent man, and was elected state auditor in 1854. 
He resigned this office in 185.5, engaged in the business 
of buying and selling lands, etc., and finally became a 
banker under the name of A. J. Stevens & (V). He pur- 
chased (jr had under his centred tlie "Agricultural Bank of 
Tennessee," and nominally located in and operated under 
the laws of that state. Manj^ thousands of dollars of these 
iiot(*s were brought here and placed in circuhition by A. J. 
Stevens. The people knew little and cared less about 
the solvency' of the bank itself. They relied wholly upon 
the responsibility of Stevens Avho placed them in circula- 
tion and redeemed them with current notes at his banking 
house in Des Moines. In this city and cf)unty and in the 
adjacent country many thousands of dollars of these notes 
were thus circulated and a large business was transacted 
for several years at tlie banking house of A. J. Stevens t!t 
Co. But when the panic of 1857 came this banking house 
was forced to succumb to the pressure. Its failure made 
the notes of the "Agricultural Bank of Tennessee" entirely 
worthless, and the loss in the aggregate was heavy, 


tlioujili so widely scattered that individual losses were not 
very large. There was mnch excitement over the failure, 
and Stevens left the city, for a time, althougli many sym- 
pathized with him and charges were made that hi.s down- 
fall was mainly due to the jealousy and rivalry of other 
banks and bankers. The fact, however, became apparent 
that the banking house of A. J. Stevens i!t Co., like unto liis 
Tennessee bank, had been doing too much business (ui too 
little capital. When the pinch came they had to botli go 
down together. 

Under the new constitution of tlie state, adopted in 1857, 
the State Bank of Iowa was organized, and a branch of 
the same was established at Des Moines, ccnnmencing 
business on January 1, 1859. This bank was located in 
the Sherman block, in the ro(jms previously occupied by* 
the banking Iiouse of Hoyt Sherman & Co. The lii'st i)res- 
ident of the bank was Captain F. If. West, and Hoyt 
Sherman was cashier, while P. M. (Jasady, K. L. Tidrick, 
B. F. Allen, L. P. Sherman and others Avere directors or 
interested in the institution. It was the first bank issuing 
notes in Des Moines, and was conducted on safe, conserva- 
tive lines, and during its entire existence its notes were 
alwaj's at par and always promptl.y redeemed upon pres- 
entation at the bank. During the financial troubles 
which preceded the war, when banks all over the country 
were closing their doors, or their notes could only be cir- 
culated at a discount, (jften a very heavy one, the notes of 
the State Bank of Iowa remained at par, and were eagerly 
sought for as safe funds to hold. This bank remained in 
existence for some six j-ears, when the national system of 
banking having been devised during the war and placed 
in operation, this bank was finally merged into the Na- 
tional State bank in May, 1865. 


Those doing- business about 1860 will remember the 
annoyance and losses caused by the banks and bank notes 
of those days, when a bank note detector or bulletin had to 
be consulted continuously to learn whether bank notes 
presented were par, at a discount, or entirely worthless. 
The merchant as well as his customers were afraid to hold 
these bank notes any length of time for fear they would 
become worthless while in their posession, and they has- 
tened to deposit them in banks or j)aj them out to others. 
Many debts were promptly paid, not perhaps through a 
desire to get out of debt as much as it was through fear the 
notes would become of less or no value while in the 
possession of the debtor. Gold and silver a man might 
hold on to, but at that time most bank notes were a dan- 
gerous commodity, unsafe to hold for any length of time, 
and to be passed into other hands as quickly as possible. 
During these times, however, the notes of the State bank 
stood par all the time on their own merits, and those of 
the Bank of Nebraska were kept up and in circulation 
here through the name and influence of B. F. Allen. 

Here it may not be out of place to cori'ect a somewhat 
prevalent error. Of late years public speakers and others 
have told in moving terms of the losses suffered by the 
people who held the notes of Iowa banks. These losses are 
purely imaginary'. There may have been some such losses 
iu Iowa Territorial days, but under the first constitution of 
the state of Iowa no banks of issue were permitted in the 
state. Hence as no Iowa bank could issue bank notes or 
currency, there were none issued, and consequently there 
were no losses on this account. The present constitution 
of Iowa was adopted in 1857, and under it the only bank 
issuing notes created under it were the State bank and 
branches. These Iowa State banks issued many thou- 


sauds of dollars in notes, but all these notes were promptly 
redeemed when presented and at no time were below par 
in the state. Hence there never were any losses to the 
people because of Iowa bank note issues. The losses the 
people suffered on this respect came from banks of issue 
located in and operating under the laws of other states 
and territories. 

During the years 1857-8 the city council of Des Moines 
for the first and last time in its history, issued what was 
termed "City Script" for the two-fold purpose of paying- 
debts and at the same time furnishing a circulating me- 
dium. After much discussion this plan was agreed upon, 
and to carry it out a set of bank notes were engraved and 
printed, being Is, 2s, 3s and 5s. These bills made a 
rather handsome appearance, and for a year or two were 
in more or less general circulation in the city, taken for 
goods at the stores, etc., but were not looked upon with 
much favor outside of the city. They were almost purely 
a local currency, and while answering to some extent the 
Ijurpose for which they were issued, never became verj- 
current or popular. The}- were finallj' withdrawn from 
circulation, without much loss or gaiu to the city or 

Those five years marked a ]3eriod of much growth and 
prosperity for Des Moines and Polk countj^ and in those 
years came many men and women as settlers who after- 
ward became prominent in the history of the city and 
county. Take the rolls of the Early Settlers' association 
and it will be found that more of its members became res- 
ident during these five years than during any other period 
in its history. The financial troubles of 1857-8 could 
check but could not stop the growth of the city and county, 
and in fact the pressure of hard times caused many in town 



to turn their attention to a^rieultural pursuits and niauv 
of them not only became for the time being farmers, but 
remained sncli, and not a few of them became the most 
progressive and best farmers in the county. In 1860 tlie 
population of the county was 11,(>25, and of the City of 
Des Moines, 3,9G5. 



i860 TO 1865. 

Tlllt^ may be termed the war period of the city and 
ronnty as it Avas of tlie entire couuti-y. As tlie 
chapter devoted to military liistory sliows, the call 
for soldiers and the hearty and liberal resjionse tliereto 
was a heavy draft upon T)(>s Moines and Polk county. It 
drew from the active jtursuits of civil life hundreds of 
youuii iiieu and placed them in the field as soldiers — as 
destr(jyers rather than creators of wealth and prosjierity 
— and yet durini;" these five years of almost continuous 
destructive war the county and city steadily increased 
in both population and wealth. In 1860 the population 
was: county, 11,G25; city, 3,905; 1803, county, 12,925; 
city, 4,419; 1805, county, 15,244; city, 5,722. Thus it will 
be seen there was a steady and even rajnd gain in pctpula- 
tiou durinsi' the entire years of the war, in spite of the 
heavy drafts made for soldiers in the field. 

One cause of this was no doubt that the locaticm of city 
and county were far away from the scene of active hostili- 
ties. It was some 100 miles to the northern boundary 
of Missouri, and save only in one or two instances were 
there any alarms as to apprehended fighting or trouble 
within the limits of city and county. Of one of these 
we may as well make a note here. One of the noted lead- 
ers of a band of rebel guerrillas or busliwuackers in Mis- 
souri was one Bill Anderson who frequently in the war 
period appeared in northern Missoul'i and sometimes ])er- 
haps came near to but it is not certain that he ever crossed 


the Iowa line. In 1864 in some way a wild rumor was 
started that the noted Bill, with a formidable band had 
crossed the Iowa line, and was headed straight for the 
capital of Iowa, intent upon pillage and slaughter". This 
alarm started in the southern tier of counties and soon 
spread to this county and city. And while some may have 
laughed, others were much alarmed, and a few may have 
begun to pray. The city was virtually defenseless so far 
as any organized force was concerned, and as messengers 
and rumors kept coming in that the redoutable Bill was 
approaching the alarm became general. B. F. Allen and 
some of the other bankers took the precaution to place 
their current funds beyond the reach of Bill and his gang. 
There were two pieces of artillery in town and they were 
placed in charge of a volunteer company, six horses has- 
tily procured and hitched to each, and the two guns taken 
with some difficulty to the state capitol, there to make a 
stand. Captain H. H. Griffith, Col. James A. Williamson 
and other officers who happened to be home on furlough, 
assumed direction of the defense and hasty preparations 
were made to give the Missouri Bill a hostile reception. 
But much to the relief of all it was in a short time learned 
that the bold invader was a hundred miles or more away, 
and was at that time more intent upon saving himself and 
band from capture by the Union soldiers than he Avas on 
capturing Des Moines or any other city or town in Iowa. 
This little war excitement soon passed away and the ordi- 
nary pursuits of civil life Avere quickly resumed in this 
city and county. 

When the great civil war commenced there was natur- 
ally stagnation and dullness in all kinds of business, biit 
as it progressed money became more plenty, prices 
advanced, and labor was in demand. The result was that 


in many ways the people here and elsewhere in the coun- 
try during the later years of the war period enjoyed what 
irt called "good" or "flush times." Not only did new people 
come in with the intention of becoming permanent citi- 
zens, but many new business enterprises were initiated, 
new buildings projected and built, new farms opened, and 
on every hand were seen the evidences of growth and pros- 
perity. Both town and county rapidly improved during 
the closing years of this wai\ It may seem strange that 
this should be the case when the greatest civil war of mod- 
ern times was wasting thousands of lives and hundreds 
of millions of property, and yet it is a fact known to all 
who were then residents of this county. That war may 
have been a great injury to other states and people but it 
certainly did greatly help Iowa and add largely to her 
wealth and population. 

During this period of 1860-5 there were many material 
improvements made in the city and county. The then 
new court house was completed and occupied by the 
county offices. The Savery House was finished and duly 
opened as the leading hotel of the city and state. A 
large number of business houses, many of them large and 
substantial brick structures, were erected, as were scores 
of ncAV dwelling houses, not a few of which were large 
and handsome homes for the more enterprising citizens. 
Many of the necessaries as well as the luxuries of life had 
largelj' risen in price and the cost of living had been mate- 
rially increased, but wages had more than correspondingly 
increased in amount and demand, and hence the mechanic 
or laboring man enjoyed the same prosperity as did the 
merchant, the trader or the speculator. Eeal estate, the 
lots in town and the farming lauds in the country, also 
rapidly advanced in value during this war period. The 


East Side as well as the West Side of the city felt this 
boom and competed with each other in improvement and 
business. And during these times the man who wanted 
work found little if any difticulty in procuring all he 
desired at a liberal rate of remuneration. So the close 
of this war period found Des Moines and Polk county 
growing and prosperous. 

During the later years of the war Des Moines was made 
the headquarters of the Fifth (Congressional district, for 
the (-ni-ollment of persons liable to military service, and 
their drafting into the army and also for the enlistment 
of volunteers. The district then embraced twenty-three 
counties, extending to the Missouri Kiver on the west and 
the state line on the south, including nearly all of south 
Avest(n'n Iowa. 8. (\ BroAvnell, then a prominent citizen 
of Des Moines and one of the first dentists located here, 
\'\ as a])pointed ca])tain and V. S. proA'ost marshal. Dr. J. 
I', h^'inley, of Decatur county, surgeon, and t'ol. Cornish 
and aftenvards (V)l. Hedges, of Fremont county, enrolling 
commissioners. These gentlemen constituted the U. S. 
enrolling board, and had their rooms in the Turner build- 
ing on Court avenue next to the alley east of the liegister 
ottice. During portions of 18()4:-5 this was a very busy 
place. In anticipation of the draft the wards of the city 
and the townships of the county made heroic efforts to till 
their (juotas and thus escape the draft. Money Avas 
freely subsci-ibed and expended and many other induce- 
ments held out to volunteers. The entire city, Avith the 
exception of the First Avard, finally ]uanage<l to fill the 
required number and thus esca]ied, as did a number of the 
counti'y townships. Hut tlie First Avard and a number 
of the townships had to, as it Avas then termed, "stand 
draft," and this was the cause of considerable distress and 


expense to the drafted men and their families. Those 
who had the means generally hired substitutes, the i^rices 
for which starting at about |500 soon increased to |1,000 
and more. Those who were too poor to hire substitutes 
were forced to enter the service, and a few of the drafted 
men "took to the brush" — that is, went into hiding or left 
the country. As a general thing the families of the 
drafted men who went into the service were taken care of 
and their wants supplied to some extent by their neigh- 
bors and friends. 

For days and weeks after the draft in the fall of ISGi 
men from all over the district were dailj' making their 
appearance at the headquarters on Court avenue. Many 
after examination by Surgeon Finlej' were found to be 
unfit by reason of physical disability, and not a few 
rejoiced because of this which at another time thej' would 
have mourned over. Others hunted up or employed 
agents to hunt up substitutes, and at times the demand 
for the latter was much beyond the supply, and prices ran 
as high as |1,200 and .f 1,.500 per head for good substitutes. 
Not a few honorably discharged soldiers, tempted by the 
money paid, re-enlisted as substitutes and again went to 
the front. During the excitement of the time many 
charges were naturally made against the U. S. enrolling- 
boards, but it is only justice to say by one who was per- 
sonally familiar with the inside history of the Des Moines 
board, that in the discharge of their difficult and delicate 
duties Messrs. Brownell, Finley and Hedges, and their 
deputies and clerks, alwaj'S endeavored to act justly, hon- 
estly and with liberality to all. When the wheel of this 
serious lottery first turned a number of prominent gen- 
tlemen of different politics were invited to be and were 
present to closely inspect everything pertaining to the 
draft, and they all certified cheerfully to the absolute 


fairness and impartiality of the officers in charge. A 
forced draft of this kind is not, however, a pleasant neces- 
sity, and it is to be hoped no occasion will ever again arise 
for its employment in this country or state or county. As 
the total number finally drafted in Polk county was only 
about fifty men, this county came more nearly voluntarily 
filling its quota than almost any other county in the state. 

When it became known there was almost certainty of 
a military draft taking place in Iowa, a number of able- 
bodied men concluded Iowa was a good state to emigrate 
from, and as there were no drafts anticipated there antl 
gold discoveries and other inducements were held out, 
the drift of emigration set strongly towards the more 
western territories. Many of these men would not have 
gone further west than Iowa if there had been no draft in 
prospect, but it is doubtless true that not a few were 
moved to emigration by fear of this military call, and left 
here with the intention of returning to the county or state 
after all clanger was over in this reaard. Governor Stone 
was aware of this, and in February, 18G4, issued a procla- 
mation in which he placed these words : "I hereby forbid 
all citizens of Iowa removing beyond the limits of the 
state before the 10th day of March next." Notwithstand- 
ing the legal doubts as to the Governor's authority to 
issue such an order some efforts were made to enforce it, 
but these efforts were in the main as futile as might have 
been expected. Some of the emigrants were put to more 
or less trouble, and a few stopped on their journeys, but 
the large majority of them passed on their way regard- 
less of the Governor's attempted embargo. 

While the soldiers were in the field the citizens of the 
city and county were generally generous and liberal not 
only to the soldiers, but also to their families. Several 


times the city and county, in their corporate capacities, 
voted generous sums for the support of the families of the 
sokliers then in the front, and public opinion hear-tilj^ 
endorsed all appropriations made for these purposes. 
But it was the people in their individual capacity who 
deserve the most praise for their efforts to relieve the sol- 
diers' families. They not only made liberal donations 
in money, but many a load of wood or coal and various 
family supplies were freely and cheerfully furnished in 
town and county. At one time so great was the abun- 
dance of articles of food, clothing, etc., sent to the soldiers 
at the front that offlcers and men wrote back thanking 
the donors, but stating they were receiving more than they 
needed or could be made good use of. All they asked 
was that their families and dependent relatives at home 
should be properly cared for. 

In the city concerts and many entertainments were 
given for the benefit of soldiers' families and these gener- 
ally met with a liberal response from the people. Among 
these was the "Old Folks' Goncerts,"which not only gave 
much enjoyment, but also realized considerable money for 
this worthy purpose. Later on a large and permanent 
organization was effected for the relief of the families of 
soldiers. This association had among its offlcers and 
members many of the prominent men and women of the 
citj and county, and their generous and systematic work 
in this field brought relief and comfort to hundreds of fam- 
ilies. They never made a call for contributions of money 
and goods that was not cheerfully responded to by the men 
and women of town and country. A great festival was 
given for the relief of soldiers' families in December, 1864, 
and the net proceeds of this amounted to the goodly sum 
of 14,245.28. 


Nor was the country beliiud the town in this good worlc. 
Aid and otlier societies were formed in nearly every town- 
ship in the county, and few soldiers' families were allowed 
to suffer from waut. In every neighborhood there was 
more or less generous rivalry in seeing which could take 
the better care of the families of those who were then at 
the front fighting for the Union. Necessarily tliere was 
more or less i)rivatiou and some suffering among these 
families, but the people of both city and county deserve 
the highest praise for their generosit.v and liberality in 
those days of war, when so many fathers, husbands and 
sons marched to the fnmt and never returiu^d. 

.' ! I: .1 :' ■ ; 



THE part taken by Des Moines and Polk county in the 
civil war is most creditable and deserving of extended 
mention. At the outburst of the war in April, 1801, 
tlie city and county, having recovered from the financial 
troubles of the few years previous, were in the full tide of 
peace and prosperity. Again the rush of immigration had 
commenced, and city and county were being rapidly in- 
creased in wealth and population. All were full of hope 
in the spring of 1861, the only cloud then being the un- 
settled condition of affairs at Washington about the time 
of the first inauguration of President Lincoln. Some 
there were who at that time and for some time previously, 
had feared these political and party convulsions might end 
in civil war, but even these had but a faint perception 
of the bloodshed which was to follow. The great mass of 
of the people of town and country had no fears whatever. 
They believed these political troubles would soon pass 
away, as had previous ones, and that peace would be pre- 
served between the States, and the U'nion maintained. 
Not one had the most remote idea of the four long years 
of bloody and destructive war which were to follow. 

By the federal census of 1860 Polk county had a total 
population of 11,925. Of these it is estimated about 
2,001 were voters. The number of men who volunteered 
during the war, and were credited to Polk county, were 
about 1,500. This was over ten per cent of the total popu- 
lation, and considerably over fifty per cent of the voters 


enumerated in 1860. Many of these volunteers, however, 
were at the time of their enlistment, under voting age, be- 
ing from sixteen to twenty years old at the time. The pop- 
ulation of the county and city also rapidly increased dur- 
ing the years of the war, notwithstanding the heavy drafts 
of men made upon them during these four yeai's, and the 
heavy emigration from them to the states and territories 
farther west. The people of both city and county were 
eminently patriotic. They were all Union men. Party 
lines were for the time being ignored if not forgotten. 
All, with scarcely an exception, were for the preservation 
of the Union at all hazards. 

Fort Sumter was fired upon April 12, 1861, and the re- 
ceipt of the news startled and excited the people here as it 
did in all the States. At first they could hardly realize 
the fact that the National flag and a National fort had 
been fired on by rebel citizens, and that war was upon us. 
Three days after the firing upon Fort Sumter, appeared 
the proclamation of President Lincoln, calling upon the 
loyal States for seventy-five thousand volunteer soldiers 
to aid in putting down this rebellion and executing the 
laws of the United States. This proclamation, it was or- 
dained from on High, was to be followed by others calling 
for additional hundreds of thousands of volunteer soldiers. 
The excitement and enthusiasm elicited by this first call 
cannot be realized or understood by those who were not 
living in this county at that time. It was simply wonder- 
ful. Apparently war and military affairs had of late 
years, in a series of years of profound peace, become lost 
arts. The people's thoughts were all upon more peaceful 
pursuits, yet the military spirit was there; it was inherent 
and general ; when needed, it came strong, powerful and 


Some montlis previous to this the question of organizing 
a military company in Des Moines had been agitated, and 
to carry the project into effect a meeting was held in the 
law office of Casady, Crocker & Polk. The writer of this 
historj^ presided at that meeting. A plan of organization 
was proposed and adopted, and the Capital Guards were 
duly organized. The officers then elected were as follows : 
Captain, Marcellus M. Crocker; First Lieutenant, X. L. 
Dykeman; Second Lieutenant, Noah W. Mills; Third Lieu- 
tenant, Edgar T. Ensign. Arrangements had been started 
to procure uniforms, drill rooms, etc., but had not been 
completed when this sudden call came for troops for actual 
service. A hasty meeting of the company was called, and 
it was promptl}' decided to tender the services of the com- 
pany to the Governor for enlistment under the first call 
made bj^ the President for three months' men. LTnder this 
call, the first, only one regiment was assigned to Iowa, and 
such was the zeal and promptness of other companies hav- 
ing better facilities than Des Moines for communicating 
with Governor Kirkwood at Iowa City, no place could be 
found for the Capital Guards in the First Regiment. This 
was a disappointment, but it was soon relieved. Slioi'tly 
after came the second call from the president — this time 
for three years instead of three months men — and the Des 
Moines company was given a place in the First Regiment 
of Infantry organized under the first three j^ears' call, be- 
coming Company D, Second Iowa Infantry. 

The Capital Guards, as originally organized, became the 
nucleus around which the new company was formed. A 
number of the original members could not enlist for A^a- 
rious causes, but their places were promptlj^ filled, and the 
comjianjr brought up to the maximum number by the 
prompt enlistment of scores of young men, the very flower 


of the young city, who bravely and unselfishly filled the 
ranks of Des Moines and Polk county's first born and per- 
haps most beloved military company. A purely patriotic 
feeling made the men soldiers, and in the service caused 
them to win from the commanding general the enconium: 
"The bravest of the brave." Love of adventure and of 
change may have had some influence, ibut at that time 
there was no thought of pay, or any money consideration 
moving them to their action. Few of them knew or cared 
what their pay or subsequent bounty was to be. They 
took no thought of these matters. They enlisted to put 
down rebellion and preserve the Union, and for this they 
were willing to fight and if needs be die, as many of them 
subsequently did on southern battle fields. 

These being the first of the volunteers to leave the 
county, all were deeply interested in their departure. A 
number of "war meetings" had been held by the citizens 
since the "firing on of Sumter," but none before or since 
surpassed in interest the meetings held at the departure of 
these, their first soldiers of the war. Company D de- 
parted for Keokuk, bearing with them the high hopes and 
best love of all the men, women and children of the city 
and county. There the regiment Avas organized and duly 
mustered into the service of their country. Captain 
Crocker was promoted to be major of the regiment, and 
by the choice of a majority of its members, Lieutenant 
Mills became captain of the company. Hon. Samuel 11. 
Curtis, a member of Congress from this, the First district, 
resigned his seat to become colonel, and Captain James M. 
Tuttle, then in command of a Van Buren county company, 
and for years after a prominent citizen of Des Moines, was 
chosen lieutenant colonel. Colonel Curtis was with the 
regiment but a short time when he was promoted briga- 


dier and major general, and Lieutenant Colonel Tuttle 
took command of the regiment as colonel. 

The first service of the regiment was in Missouri, which 
state had by the war been thrown into a terrible state of 
disorder. Many of its citizens had joined the fortunes of 
the confederacy, which had the sympathy of many thous- 
ands of others, who remained at their homes. On the 
other side there were thousands of strong and determined 
Union men, who did not swerve in their allegiance. The 
state was overrun by the opposing forces, and many sec- 
tions were cursed by swarms of guerillas and bushwhack- 
ers. For many months the Second Iowa was engaged in 
the disagreeable and often dangerous work of compelling 
peace in this much troubled state. When at St. Louis in 
the winter of 1861-2, the regiment hailed with delight the 
order sending them to the front to join the forces of Gen- 
eral Grant, who was then preparing for an advance upon 
the enemj^'s works in Kentucky. Owing to the injury of 
some property in the St. Louis Medical College building, 
which the regiment had occupied, General Hallock sent 
the regiment off under the color of military disgrace. The 
officers and men smarted under this, by them deemed un- 
just treatment, but their vindication was to come early 
and nobl3\ 

The regiment was with the forces iinder General Grant 
at Fort Donelson on February 14, 15, 1862, and had par- 
ticipated in the marches and struggles of that campaign. 
And as has been written bj' another: "Here the regiment 
won its highest renown, when, as a forlorn hope, it made 
what was undoubtedly the most gallant, reckless and suc- 
cessful charge of the whole war. Fighting had been go- 
ing on all the forenoon of the fifteenth, and the federal 
forces had been losing ground. The key to the rebel posi- 


tion laj' in the crest of a steep hill, whose sides were ob- 
structed b}' a dense thicket. In front of the earth works 
at the crest, about one hundred yards distant, was a for- 
midable abatis, to pass which an assaulting column must 
break its lines and move by the flank in two divisions. 
Between the abatis and earth works were no obstructions. 
These works must be taken to secure federal success. The 
offer of this charge was tendered several regiments, but 
declined. General vSmith finallj^ went to Colonel Tuttle, 
commanding the Second Iowa, and asked: "Colonel, will 
3'ou take those works?'' The colonel promptly replied: 
"(Teneral, support me promptly, and in twenty minutes 
I will go in." 

"He and his regiment went in. Dividing the regiment, 
he with the left wing began to scale the hill side. The 
abatis was reached by slow and toilsome tread, and 
not a gun was fired, but scarcely was the abatis 
passed and the gallant boys brought in line Avhen the con- 
centrated fire of three regiments belched upon them, and 
at the first fire nearly one-half of the gallant three hun- 
dred went down. With the heroism of desperation the 
fragment of three hundred closed up their shattered ranks 
and charged the enemy. Two rebel regiments quailed 
and fled. A Mississippi regiment remained, but the other 
column of the vSecond rapidly pushing forward compelled 
th(^ remaining enemy to hastily retreat. The key of the 
rebel i)osition was taken. The result was the next day 
(•(muted up: Fifteen thousand prisoners, a large quan- 
tity of ordnance stores and other property and possession 
of this n^bel stronghold. The commanding general and 
all the division commanders were made major generals 
and every brigade commander a brigadier general. The 
Second Iowa therefore made Grant, Smith, McClernand 
and Wallace major generals, and Laumau and ten others 
brigadiers. It broke the line of the enemy's defenses, ex- 
tending from Bowling Green to Columbus; forced John- 
son to evacuate Bowling Green; captured Buckner, and 
frightened Pillow into flight from D(melsou; compelled 
Polk to evacuate Columbus on the Mississippi, and opened 


tlie whole country south of the Memphis and Charleston 
railroad! What marvel that it was given the post of hon- 
or in the Army of the Tennessee!" 

In the charge at Donelson two young soldiers of Com- 
pany D were killed. They Avere Xatlian W. Doty and 
Theodore G. Weeks. They were well known and popular 
young men. The latter was a son of Dr. J. F. Weeks, an 
old and prominent citizen who was at one time receiver 
of the United States laud office at this place. The bodies 
of these two j'oung heroes were brought home and given 
a public burial which will be ever remembered b.y those 
present. The war and its bloody sacrifices were brought 
home to the people. These were the first, but alas, not 
the last of military burials of those who had died that 
the nation might live. During the following three years 
the 'bodies of many dead soldiers were brought from 
southern battlefields and hospitals to be buried in tlie 
cemeteries of city and county near to their old homes. 
Hardly one of the older cemeteries of the county but con 
tains one or more of these old soldier graves. It is fitting 
they should be ever remembered, and annually bedecked 
with flowers upon every recurring Decoration Day. 

The scope and extent of this history will not permit of 
a full military history of the dill'erent regiments to which 
Polk county men were connected, and the reader must be 
content with more brief summaries of the same. The 
Second was in many battles during the long years of serv- 
ice and sustained its high reputation to the end. It was 
at Shiloh, April 6 and 7; with the advance on Corinth, 
August 10 to 29; battle of Corinth, October 3 and 4. In 
this fight the Second lost two of its commanders. Colonels 
James Baker and N. W. Mills, the latter of Des Moines. 
Little Bear Creek, Ala., November 28; Town Creek, Ala., 
April, 1863; Resaca, Ga., May 13 and 15, 1SG3; Borne 


<;rossing, Ga., May 16, 1864; Dallas, Ga., May 27, 28, 29, 
1864; Kenesaw Mountain, June 10 to 30; Nick-a-jack 
Creek, Ga., July 4; at Atlanta July 20 to August 27, and 
in the ten-ible tight of July 22; Jonesboro, Ga., August 
30; Eden Station, December 10 to 20; Savannah, Ga., 
December 21; Columbia, S. C, iFebruary 15 and 16; 
Lynch's Creek, S. C, February 15; Goldsboro, N. C, March 
24 to April 10, 1865; and was in the triumphal march 
through the city of Washington at the close of the wax, 
and as a special mark of honor was placed in front and 
was the first of the grand old Army of the Tennessee to 
enter the city. 

The regiment was mustered into the service at Keokuk, 
May 27, 1801, and mustered out at Louisville, Ky., Jn\j 12, 
1865. Under the calls of 1861-2- 1268 men were enlisted 
in the regiment. On December 31, 1863, the strength of 
the regiment in officers and men was 568. By special orders 
of May 21, 1864, the regiment was reorganized, the non- 
veterans mustered out, and the veterans consolidated with 
the veterans of the Third Iowa, November 8, 1864, as the 
second veterans. The casualties during the war Avere: 

Officers — Killed, 8; died, 8; discharged, 3; Avounded, 27; 
resigned, 31. Total, 74. 

Privates — Killed, 73; died, 109; discharged, 359; wound- 
ed, 294. Total, 880. 

Polk county was represented on the staff as follows: 
N. W. Mills, colonel, promoted from Company D., Mar- 
cellus M. Crocker, major; promoted to lieutenant-colonel, 
(jeorge L. Godfrey adjutant; Edward L. Marsh, sergeant- 
inajor; Samuel H. Lunt, sergeant-major; Jared Warner, 
commissary-sergeant; John Lynde, commissary-sergeant; 
Ephraim P. Davis, hospital-steward; George W. Lyon, 


hospital-steward; Wm. D. Christy, quarter-master ser- 


Marcelliis M. Crociier, captain; promoted to major, May 
31, 1861; to lieutenant-colonel, September G, ISGl; to 
colonel, Thirteenth infantry, October 30, 1861; to brigadier- 
general, November 29, 1862. 

N. L. Dykeman, first lieutenant; appointed first lieuten- 
ant in regular army, July 4, 1861. 

Noah W. Mills, second lieutenant; promoted to captain, 
June 1, 1801; to lieutenant-colonel June 22, 1862; to colonel 
October 8, 1862; wounded at Corinth, October 4, 1862; died 
of wounds at Corinth, October 12, 1862. 

Samuel H. Lunt, first sergeant; promoted to sergeant- 
major, June 13, 1861; to first lieutenant, July 31, 1861; re- 
signed, December 5, 1861. 

Edgar T. Ensign second sergeant; promoted to second 
lieutenant, June 1, 1861; to first lieutenant, December 5, 
1861; to captain, June 22, 1862; to major. Ninth cavalry, 
October 9, 1863 ; wounded at Douelson, February 18, 1862. 

Hiram C. Cook, third sergeant; promoted to second ser- 
geant, June 13, 1861; died of congestion of brain at Hart- 
ford, Connecticut, March 25, 1862, effect of sunstroke. 

**Edwin Mitchell,enlisted May 27, 1861, fourth sergeant; 
promoted to third sergeant; discharged, July 16, 1861. 

George L. Godfrej^, fifth sergeant; promoted to fourth 
sergeant, June 1, 1861; to second lieutenant, December 
5, 1861; to first lieutenant, June 22, 1862; to adjutant, June 
22, 1862; to lieiitenant-colonel. First Alabama cavalry, 
October 18, 1803. ,,' ,,,, . , /,■ ■ , ,,, .: 

*Enlisted Ma,y 4, 1861, unless otherwise stated. ,, , 

**Unless otherwise stated, the discharge was for disability. 


Jared A. Warner, first corporal; appointed commissary- 
sergeant, July 15, 1861; appointed wagon-master; dis- 
charged by special order at St. Louis. 

David M. Sells, second corporal; transferred to second 
lieutenant United States marines, September 10, 1861. 

Edward L. Marsh, third corpoi*al; promoted to fifth ser- 
geant, June 1, 1861; to fourth sergeant, December 5, 1861; 
to sergeant-major, February 15, 1862; second lieutenant, 
June 22, 1862; to first lieutenant, June 25, 1862; to Captain, 
October 29, 1863; resigned May 23, 1864. 

Robert Allen, Jr., fourth corporal; appointed second 
lieutenant, and subsequently first lieutenant First Uuited 
States caraliy; died of wounds. 

Nathan W. Dot}-, fifth sergeant; promoted to second ser- 
geant, July 16, 1861; killed at Donelson, February 15, 1862. 

Leonard B. Houston, seventh corporal; discharged for 
l^romotion to captain. Company A, Twenty-third infantry. 

Andrew Slatteu, eighth corporal; reduced to ranks at 
his own request, May 28, 1861; died at St. Louis, April 18, 
1862, from wounds received at Donelson. 

Philo L. Case, musician. 


Ayers, Samuel A., discharged at St. Louis, December 
19, 1861. 

*Ayres, Henry O., promoted to fourth corporal, January 
1, 1862; wounded at Corinth; veteranized first corporal. 

*Barnett, John. 

Rarrie, William W. 

Bennett, Robert A., died May 6, 1862, at St. Louis. 

Bitting, William H. 

*Veteranized December 23, 1863. 


Bird, William K., discharged August 9, 18G1. 

Browne, Jolin II., discharged to accept commission as 
second lieutenant, Seveuteentli inf antrj-, March 13, 1802. 

*Brown, Harvej', wounded at Corinth, October 4, 18<)2. 

Bnrbridge, James W. 

Callender, William. / 

Childs, George H., discharged December 19, 1861. 

*Christy, Wm. D., promoted to quarter-master sergeant. 

*Cooper, Joseph, wounded at Fort Donelson, February 
15, 18G2. 

Davis, Ephriam P., promoted to hospital-steward; trans- 
ferred to same position in Tentli infantry. 

*Davis, W'illiam L., promoted to eighth corporal, 
October 3, 1861; to fourth sergeant, July 1, 1862; veteran- 
ized as second lieutenant. 

Davis, James. 

Dickerson, John A., promoted to iirst corporal, July 16, 

Dreher, Peter, wounded at Donelson, February 15, 1862. 

Estle, William, discharged, October 0, 1861. 

Fales, Philetus. 

Fenn Dwight E., mustered out November 22, 1862. 

*Ferguson, John N.; veteranized as third corporal. 

Fleming, John A. 

*Gillett, Philander D., promoted to third corporal, Octo- 
ber 3, 1861; to third sergeant, September 1, 1862; veteran- 
ized as first sergeant. 

Goodrich, Arthur; wounded at Corinth, October 3, 1862. 

Gordnier, John, promoted to second corporal, October 
3, 1861; wounded at Donelson, February 15, 1862. 

Greene, George W., discharged April 23, 1863. 

*Veteranizecl December 23, 1863. 


Hayden, Joseph S., wounded at Douelson, February 15, 
1862; discharged for wouuds, June 28, 1862. 

Haskell, Joseph, discharged, April 2, 1862. 

Houghton, Douglas S., discharged as minor by United 
States district court, September 15, 1861. 

Hoxie, W. H., promoted to captain, Seventeenth in- 
fantry, March 25, 1862. 

Jones, Asbury C, discharged May 4, 1862. 

Jones, Tarpley T. 

*Kinsey, William A. 

Lamoi'eaux, Charles H. 

LoAve, Carlton, transferred to Second United States 
artillery as second lieutenant, November 13, 1861. 

Looby, John H., discharged for promotion, September 
22, 1862. 

Lyon, George W., promoted to hospital-steward, May 1, 

Lynde, John, promoted to fifth corporal, July 16, 1862; 
to commissarjf-sergeant, May 1, 1862; to second lieutenant, 
June 23, 1862; served also as chief of ambulance corps, 
second division, Sixteenth Army Corps; resigned May 26, 

Mattern, Jacob H., discharged March 5, 1863. 

McKelvogue, John (reported also Hugh), discharged 
February 6^ 1862. 

*McCollam, Isaac, veteranized as fourth corporal. 

*Mason, William B., killed at Atlanta, August 15, 1864. 

Moles, Jacob M., promoted to sixth corporal, March 1, 
1862; killed at Corinth October 4, 1862. 

Morehead, Jacob. 

Nagle, John N., wounded at Donelson, February 15, 
1862; discharged for wounds, July 11, 1862. 

^Veteranized December 23, 18()3. 


Nims, Albert H., wounded at Donelsou, February 15, 

Painter, Joshua C. 

*Price, John. 

Eagan, William, promoted to third corporal, July 16, 
1862; to fifth sergeant, March 1, 1862; discharged for 
promotion, September 26, 1862; wounded at Donelsou, 
February 15, 1862. 

*Riddle, William, wounded at Corinth, October 3, 1862; 
transferred to United States navy. 

Rush, Austin B., transferred to regular army for promo- 

* Veteranized December 23, 1863. 

Bobbins, James. 

Scott, Erastus, discharged April 18, 1862. 

Smith, Philander, wounded at Corinth, October 4, 1862, 
discharged April 3, 1863. 

Stewart, Calvin C, discharged June 3, 1862. 

*Swem, William A. 

Warnock, Newton. 

Watson, John H., transferred to Company D, Thirteenth 
infantry, November 7, 1861. 

Wheeler, John, discharged February 1, 1862. 

Whitmer, Samuel, promoted to fifth cori;>oral, March 1, 
1862; to fifth sergeant, September 3, 1862. 

Wylie, William D., discharged April 30, 1862; sub- 
sequently appointed hospital-steward. United States army. 

Yant, David, wounded at Donelson, February 15, 1862. 

Yount, Enoch, J., discharged July 29, 1862. 

Young, Armin, discharged August 19, 1861. 

*Zelle, Godfrey, veteranized as second corporal. 

'Veteranized December 23, 1863. 




Bnibaker, Jolin C, November 21; discharged December 
3, 1862. 

Brady, Casper S., November 21; wounded at Douelsou, 
February 18 ; died of v^^ounds ou the Des Moines Kiver April 
30, 1SG2. 

Birch, Thomas 8., November 23; died August 8, 1862. 

*Ohrystal, Benjamin F., December 10. 

Cree, Theodore G., wounded at Donelson, February 16, 
18G2; discharged for wounds, June 13, 1862. 

*Chrystal, James A., December 16; captured at Corinth 
October 4; 1862; veteranized as wagoner. 

(ireene, AMlliam B., August 1; discharged, December 
19, 1861. 

Houston, William L., November 20; discharged, July 29, 

Lott, W., November 20. 

Lasell, William J., November 27; discharged, February 
1, 1862. 

*Nagle, Thomas, November 20; veteranized as second 

Sharp, John, November 20; discharged NoA^ember, 1862. 

Williams, John Z., wounded at Donelson, February 15, 
1862; discharged October 19, 1862. 

Weeks, Theodore G., killed at Donelson, Febrimry 15, 


Cassius, Joseph, January 21. 

Cassius, James, January 21. 

Cole, Henry, Januarj^ 16, 1865; comi)any unknown. 

Gray, George B., September 29. 

•Veteranized December 23, 1863. 


Hunt, Zacchens, December 23, 18G3. 

Read, Andrew W., December 21, 1SG3. 

Jones, Anderson, Jamiary 21, 1SG5; company unknoATn. 


Clark, David H., May G, ISGl; discharged October 13, 


Company E, Fourth Iowa infantry, was tlie second com- 
pany enlisted in Polk county, in June and July, 18G1. Tliis 
was an excellent company in a noted regiment, whirh from 
lirst to last engaged in mauj^ battles, made many long and 
weary marches, and was always to be relied upon as faith- 
ful and true. The regiment arrived at Benton barracks, 
!-!t. Louis, August 9, 18G1, and on August 21 was sent to 
Kolla, Mo. In January, 18G2, the Fourth was assigned to 
the ar-my of the Southwest, under Gen. Curtis, and for the 
thirtj^ mouths following was in continuous active service. 
It was never assigned to i^ort duty. It was in the tierce 
battle of Pea Ridge, when under tlie command of its noted 
colonel, Granville M. Dodge, it greath^ distinguished itself. 
Arriving at Helena in July, 18G2, it remained there until 
December |22, when it was transferred to ('hickasaAv 
Bayou, where it took a prominent part in the battles of 
28 and 29. It was also at Arkansas Post, January 10 and 
11, 18()3, and then returned to Young's Point, opposite 
Yicksbnrg, where it remained until Ai)ril 2, when it moved 
150 miles up the river to Greenville; thence on the Deer 
Creek Valley raid; thence back to Milliken's Bend, from 
whence it started on the active campaign against Yicks- 
bnrg, on May 2, via Jackson, arriving at A'icksbnrg ilay 
18, and at once engaging in the memorable siege. 


After the surrender of Vicksburg, the Fourth partici- 
pated in the battle at Jackson, July 16, and remained in 
the rear of Vicksburg until September, when it Avas re- 
moved to Memphis, and at once set out for Chattanooga, 
arriving at that noted point after a tedious and weary 
march, November 23. It next took part in the famous 
"Battle in the Clouds" at Lookout moutain, was the first 
to plant our flag on that mountain crest, and was at Mis- 
sionary Ridge on the 25th, and fought again at Einggold on 
November 27. The Fourth was at Bridgeport and Wood- 
ville until February 26, when the regiment was permitted 
to return home to Iowa on veteran furlough. Returning 
to the field in April, 1864, it was hotly engaged in the 
campaign against Atlanta. After the surrender of the lat- 
ter place the Fourth engaged in the pursuit of Hood, and 
then followed Gen. Sherman in the "March to the Sea." 
In the Carolina campaign it was in the battles at Columbia 
and Bentonville. After Johnson's surrender the Fourth 
was sent to Riehmoiul and Washington, and was in the 
last grand review at the capital. From Washington the 
Fourth was sent to Louisville, Ky., where it performed 
provost duty until July 23, when it was mustered out, sent 
CO Davenport, Iowa, and discharged September 3, 1865. 

When the Fourth was mustered in it numbered the full 
one thousand men. Three hundred recruits were added. 
When mustered out there were less than four hundred. 
The regiment fought in over thirty battles, and met the 
enemy in eight different rebel states, and never was re- 
pulsed. It marched over five thousand miles. A glance 
at the record shows the Fourth Iowa to have been a 
glorious old regiment. The casualties were: 

Officers — Killed, 3; died, 5; discharged, 1; wounded, 16; 
resigned, 34; transferred, 5. 


Privates — Killed in action, 57; died, 290; discharged, 
298, wounded, 322; transferred, 32. 

The Polk county. Company E, from its organization to 
its muster out had 141 names on its roll. Ten were killed 
in battle or died of wounds ; twenty-eight were wounded in 
battle; one drowned; two accidentally killed; thirteen died 
of disease, three while prisoners; nineteen were discharged 
for disability and three for wounds; eight were mustered 
out under general orders, and fourteen at the end of their 
three years term; seven deserted; ten were transferred, 
four to veteran reserve corps, one to regimental staff, one 
to marine brigade, four to commissions in other depart- 
ment, from first to last, thus leaving but forty-eight men to 
be mustered out. Captain Simmons was the only original 
officer who remained with the company from muster in to 
muster out, and one of four only who were with the regi- 
ment from first to last. Polk county was represented on 
the staff as follows: James A. Williamson,colonel; Alex- 
ander Shaw, assistant surgeon; Washington G. Dunan, 
commissary-sergeant; David Beach, assistant surgeon; 
John E. Sells, adjutant. 


*Henr3^ H. Griffiths, captain; transferred May 14, 1862, 
to command First Iowa battery. 

*Wilmer S. Simmons, first lieutenant; promoted captain 
May 15, 18C2. 

Isaac Whicher, second lieutenant; resigned October 16, 

*John E. Sells, first sergeant; commissioned captain, but 
declined; promoted first lieutenant May 15, 1862; to ad- 
jutant September 12, 1862; mustered out April 6, 1865. 

*Enlistecl July 15, 1861, unless otherwise stated. 
**Veteranized January 1, 18(54. 


Charles S. i>tark, second sergeant. 

Edward \y. Baruuni, third sergeant; killed at Pea Ridge 
Marc-h 7, 1862. 

*She]d(;in C. Treat, fourth sergeant; promoted to ftrst 
sergeant Ma,y 15, 1862; to second lieutenant, (October Ki, 
1862; veteranized as first lieutenant January 4, 1861. 

James A. Moore, fifth sergeant; drowned August 21, 
1861, at Hannibal, Mo. 

Washington (}. Dunan, first corporal; appointed com- 
missary-sergeant October 16, 1861. 

James AA'. Wilson, second ctn^poral; promoted to third 
sergeant March 8, 1862; wounded May 10, 1863, at Vicks- 
burg; transferred to veteran reserve corps January, 18(il. 

John C. Jameson, fourth corporal; promoted to third 
corporal October 10, 1861. 

*Richard W. Ross, fifth cor])oral; promoted to fourth 
corjioral October 10, 1861; to third corjjoral May 15, 18()2; 
to fifth sergeant iSeptember 20, 1862; veteranized as sec()u<1 
lieutenant January 1, 1864. 

William A. Hunt, sixth corporal; wounded November 
25, 1863 at Missionary Ridge, Ga.; discharged January — , 


Alderman, Josei)h 1'. 

Barcns, Ira, discharged September 20, 1861. 

*I>arlow, Stephen C. 

Beck, James, wounded at Pea Ridge March 7, 1862. 

Bell, Jeptha W., wounded at Pea Ridge March 7, 1862; 
died of wounds Marcli 0, 1862. 

<_'ase, (iirard M. ('., died July 1, 1862, at Jacksonport, 
Ark., of accidental ^^'ounds. 

■\'cti'i-:uii/,('il .l;niiiar\' 1, l^ii4 


< 'lary, Isaac, wounded at Pea Ridge March 7, 1SG2. 

('lar.v, Vacliiel. 

*(,'ai-tei', John A., veteranized as corporal January 1, 

Cornish Hiram D., Icilled at Pea Ridge Marcli 7, 1SG2. 

*Crow, Benjamin, captured at Claysville, Ala., March 
14, 18()1; died September 10, ISGl, in Andersouville prison. 

Castelin, Thomas (Costello), captured at Gaines' Land- 
ing, Miss., December 24, 1S()2. 

Danforth, Andrew J. 

*Davis, Andrew S., yeteranized as corporal January 1, 

Dixon, John, discharged November 24, 1SG2. 

*D<iughty, Lucien B. 

*Fislier, Jefferson K. 

*Foster, Martin, wounded at Pea Ridge March 7, 1SG2. 

*(laudy, Felix T., promoted to fifth sergeant March 14, 
1SG2; yeteranized as third sergeant January 1, 18G4. 

Gentle, George, wounded at Chickasaw Bayou, Miss., 
December 29, 18G2; captured at Claysville, Ala., March 14, 
1864; died August 8, 1864, in Andersouville rebel prison. 

"Greene, Charles W., wounded at Pea Ridge March 7, 
1862; veteranized as coii^oral. 

Guthrie, Michael. 

Heart, Daniel B., discharged June 18, 1862. 

Ibuiser, (George L. 

*Kelly, Oliver P., wounded at Kenesaw Mountain, Ga., 
June 27, 1864; died June 28, 1864, of wounds. 

King, Michael, wounded at Chickasaw Bayou, Miss., De- 
cember 2!t, 1862; transferred to invalid corps. 

Kesler, Jacob B., discharged November 28, 1863. 

*Lacy, Henry D., yeteranized as corporal. 

*\'r1cranizrd .January 1, ISiU. 


*Lewis, John. 

*McNulty, Eobert, wounded at Kenesaw Mountain Aug- 
ust 1, 1864; discliarged January 2, 1865, of wounds. 

Mott, James A., wounded at Vicksburg May 20, 1863; 
died June 23, 1863, of wounds. 

Needliam, James M. (W.),died January 4, 1862, at Rolla, 

Plummer, Asa L. 

Pritchard, William, died December 1, 1862, at Helena, 

*Robinson, Augustus R., promoted to eighth corporal 
September 20, 1862; veteranized as first sergeant January 
1, 1864; transferred to Second United States volunteers as 
second lieutenant. 

Smith, William, transferred to marine corps January 3, 

Stumbach, Abraham. 

*West, Edwin R. 

Woodruff, Joseph H. discharged September 20, 1861. 


Bonine, John M., November 18; promoted to seventh cor- 
poral as J. M. Bonnie. 

Barrett, Henry A., wounded at Pea Ridge March 7, 
1862; died April 12, 1862, of wounds, at Cassville, Mo. 

Billsland, Reuben P. (R.), died January 19, 1863, on hos- 
pital boat Die Vernon. 

Brisbine, Edward T., promoted to fifth corporal Septem- 
ber 20, 1862. 

Hinman, Jeremiah, wounded at Pea Ridge March 7, 
1862; discharged June 24, 1862. (Reported also Hennan.) 

McKean, Cornelius. 

*Veteranized Jiinuary 1, 1864. 


McFee, John H., transferred to veteran reserve corps, 
January, 1864. 

Newell, Andrew J. 

*Simms, George C. 

Lewis, James, December 23, 1863; comj)any unknown. 

Crow, John kS. (L.), March 21, 1864; died on hospital train 
February 28, 1865 ; company unknown. 

Black, Climpson, March 19, 1864; company unknown. 

Halstead, David H., March 23, 1864; company unknown. 

Marsh, Jesse, March 18, 1864; company unknown. 

Mason, Francis E., March 30, 1864; company unknown. 

Eobinson, John H., March 15, 1864; company unknown. 

Smith, Thomas E. ; company unknown. 

Van Horn, William. 

Atkins, Samuel M., March 30, 1864; company unknown. 

Aultman, Oliver S., March 23, 1864; company unknown. 


AUmay (Alloway), Benjamin, September 16, 1862; died 
January 8 ,1863, at White River, Ark. 

Brinson (Brimson), David A., September 16, 1862; died 
February 7, 1863, at Young's Point, La. 

Brinson (Brimson), Thomas, September 16, 1862; dis- 
charged February 7, 1863. 

Brace, John R., September 16, 1862. 

Brinson (Brimson), William, September 16, 1862. 

Cason, John J., August 21, 1862; discharged June 12, 

Cason, Joshua H., July 1, 1861; discharged September 
20, 1864. 

Clary, H. C, September 16, 1862. 

Crone, Theodore F., September 15, 1862. 

* Veteranized January 1, 1864. 


Dorence (Dorrauce), Alexander P., September 15, 1862; 
killed May 19, 1SG3, at Walnut Hill, Miss. 

•Jessnp, Isaac, August 15, 1862; transferred to invalid 
corps April 28, 1861. 

Kenkonnen (Kinkennian), Xatlian W., August 15, 1862; 
(reported also Knickanuon); transferred to invalid corps 
A]>ril 28, 1861. 

Lawrence, Perry, September 16, 1862. 

Moore, Andei'son, Sei)tember 16, 18()2; wounded Decem- 
ber 20, 18()2, af (liickasaw Bayou, Miss.; discharged June 
l(i 1863. 

Osborn, Philip, September 16, 1862; died February 22, 
1863, at Young's Point, La. 

Kay, Isaac, September 16, 1862. 

Scott, John W., September 16, 1862; died March 10, 1863, 
at Young's Point, La. 

Widener, James, September 15, 18()2. 

vStewart, James ^^^, January 1(), 1865. 

Stewart, John <!., January 9, 1865. 


The first cavalry company organized in P(dlv County Avas 
recruited in July, 18(il, and attached t() the Second loAva 
Cavalry as Company I). Tliis I'eginient was organized at 
Davenport and ])laced under the command of a splendid 
officer. Colonel Elliot, of the regular army. It was mus- 
tered into tli(^ United States service August 30, 1861, and 
after being thorougldy (u-ganized and drilled was ])laced 
in tlu^ field, where it soon became known as a "crack regi- 
ment." It began its active operations against the enemy 
at lUrd's Point, Mo., Avliere it arrived February 19, 1862. 
On tlie 27th it began the ])ursuit of (tou. Jeff Thompson's 
rebels, and scattered and drove tlieni out of tliat state. For 


a lonii' time it8 services were almost Avholly eoufiued to Ten- 
nessee, Xdi'th Alabama ami Mississippi, and nnder the gal- 
lant Colonel Hatch, Avho had sncceeded (^»lonel Elliot, 
promoted, gained a great reputation for dash and light. 
During the summer of lS(i2 it was attached to (len. I'liil. 
Sheridan's headqmirters at Keiuzi, Miss. It was Avith (Jen. 
eral (h-ierson in his A\-oiulerfnl raid through Mississippi to 
destroy railroads, bridges and stores, ami create a diver- 
sion in favor of the army then investing Vicksburg. Dur- 
ing this raid the Second had hard fighting and marching, 
and at one time had over 250 of its horses broken doAvn, 
being forced to take train and borrowed mules to mount the 
men. The raid was successful, infiictiiig great loss upon 
the enemy. 

The next important uu)ye of the Second cavalry was in 
pursuit of (Jeneral Forrest, chasing him beyond Jackson 
in July, 1, 18(!3. In the winter of 18()3-J: the regiment re- 
enlisted as veterans, and after a furlough returning to 
Memphis, were soon again sent in jiursuit of their old 
enemy, Forrest, and afterwards were in the operations 
against Hood. During this time it had several serious 
engagements, and was constantly on the scout, ami its 
officers and men were highly complimented by the com- 
nianders for their sidendid Avoi-k. The regiment continiu'd 
in the field months after the war had been virtually clo>e:l, 
and were not mustered out until September 19, 18(15, at 
Selnia, Ala. The casualties were: 

Otticers — Killed, 1; died, 3; discharged, 2; wounded, 12; 
resign(-d, 25; dismissed, 5; transferred, 5. 

Privates — Killed, 40; died, 222; discharged, lO'.); 
wounded, ICd; missing, 10; transferred, 37. 



Isaiah W. Wilson, private, enlisted July 30, 1861; died at 
St. Louis May 12, 1862. 


*George C. Graves captain mustered in August 30 ; dis- 
charged October 3, 1864. 

Gustavus Washburn, first lieutenant; resigned July 27, 

Joseph E. Jewett, second lieutenant; promoted to major 
Fourth cavalry October 14, 1861; resigned June 3, 1862. 

Samuel Noel, enlisted August 1, first sergeant; promoted 
to second lieutenant October 29, 1861; resigned June 3, 

*Samuel J. Dangler, quartermaster-sergeant, August 1; 
promoted to first sergeant June 4, 1862; to first lieutenant 
September 5, 1863; to brevet captain United States veter- 
ans April 2, 1865. 

Henry H. Helton, second sergeant; wounded at Boone- 
ville June 9, 1862; discharged August 22, 1862. 

*Francis M. Griffith, third sergeant; promoted to second 
sergeant August 2, 1862; to first sergeant February 2, 1864; 
to captain July 4, 1865. 

Thomas H. Townsend, fourth sergeant; reduced to fifth 
sergeant; promoted to quartermaster-sergeant June 4, 

Junius E. Wharton, fifth sergeant; i^romoted to fourth 
sergeant; discharged September 10, 1862. 

W^illiam Edwards, first corporal; iDromoted to third ser- 
geant October 1, 1862. 

Daniel Hall, second corporal; promoted to first sergeant 

*Veteriuiized March, 1864. 
**Enlisted August 2, 1862, unless otherwise stated. 


December 23, 1861; to second lieutenant June 4, 1862; dis- 
missed February 1, 1864; wounded at Blacklaud, Miss., 
June 8, 1862. 

William Duncan, promoted to second coi-poral ; to com- 
missary sergeant corporal October 1, 1862. 

George Lum, fourth corporal; promoted to third cor- 
poral; to first October 1, 1862. 

* James McMerdo, sixth corporal; promoted to fifth cor- 
poral; to sixth sergeant October 15, 1862; ^younded at 
West Point, Miss., Februaiy 20, 1864. 

■*John N. Butler, seventh coi'poral; promoted to sixth 
corporal; to fifth sergeant October 1,5, 1862. 

Daniel W. Jones, bugler; discharged September 30, 1862. 

William W. Hume, farrier. 

Henry H. Doughit, saddler, August 2; wounded April 26 
and May 9 at Farmington Miss.; died of wounds May 29, 
1862, at Hamburg, Tenn. 

Orine M. Hall, saddler. 


Barnett, Moses F., discharged October 23, 1861. 

Barlow, Bird K., August 2. 

Burk, Doctor F., promoted to eighth corporal January 
8, 1863. 

*Barrickman, Robert E., wounded at Prairie Station, 
Miss., February 20, 1864. 

Cotterell, Benjamin F., discharged November 10, 1861. 

Canfield, Jeremiah. 

Canfield, Gilford B., promoted to sixth corporal C)ct()ber 
15, 1862. 

Chaffee, Jesse M., promoted to saddler October 15, 1862. 

*Veteranized March. 1862. 


Crockershaw, David M. died at St. Louis January 17, 

Duncan, Cliapin, died at St. Louis March 5, 18G2. 

Early, William. 

*Hayes, Martin Van B. 

*Hnmplire3^s, William T. 

Howard, Israel, drowned from steamboat at Cairo, 111. 
April 22, 18()2. 

*HatliaAvay, Perry. 

Johnson, Delanah. 

Kemp, Thomas G. J. 

Lee, Thomas. 

Lewis, Thomas, C. ' 

*Mosler, James M. 

Mosler, William IL, captured, place unknown. 

*Polk, Ira L., promoted to seventh corporal October 15, 

*Ring-, Edward. 

*Eickerbau8h, Perry, died at Memphis, April 23, ISGl. 

*Rooker, William D., wounded at Nashville, Tennessee, 
December 15, 1864. 

*Rooker, James W., wounded at Little Ilarpeth, Tenn., 
December, 1861; discharged June 21, 1865. 

Smith, Matthew F. 

Smith, Hardin. 

Sisley, Simon vS., discharged October 15, 1862; died on 
his way home. 

*S]awter, James, wounded at Farmington, Miss., May 9, 
1862; ca]rtnred July 16, 1863; place unknown. 

* Stewart, George W. 

Thimis, Augustus J., died at Benton Barricks, January 2, 

^V'etLTanized ^Murcli, J8fi4. 


Tipton, John J., promoted to fifth corporal October 1, 

Tliatcher, Henry. 

Walker, Epliraim, died at St. Louis January S, 18(12. 


Alexander, Charles A., February 3, 1865. 

Catthern, Arthur S., October 11; prcunoted to eiglith cor- 
poral December 23, 1861. 

Dippert, William W., October 11; promoted to saddler 
October 11, 1861. 

Eankins, Robert, October 11. 

Johnson, Zadoc J., July 29, 1861. 

Moon, Joseph H., Januarj' 20, 1861; killed at Lyunville, 
Tenn., November 24, 1861. 

Needham, Melvin I., (J), September 1, 1862; wounded at 
Oxioid, M'ss December 5, 1862, and died of wounds. 

Bennett, Joshiui S., enlisted January 1, 1861; company 

Camel, John, enlisted January 4, 1864; companj- nn- 

Hiirst, enlisted December 31, 1863; company unknown. 

Monroe, Samuel, enlisted January 4, 1864; cctnipany 

Preston, Alonzo C, enlisted December 28; 1863; com- 
pany unknown. 

Anderson, Charles, enlisted September 3, 1864; com- 
pany unknown. 

Baldwin, Jesse, enlisted September 3, 1864; company 

Barton, Edward, enlisted May 19, 1864; company un- 


■ Parker, William, enlisted March 11, 1864; company un- 


Polk county had many representatives in the gallant 
regiment, volunteers from this county being in Companies 
A, B, D, F, G, H and K, and v^^ell represented among the 
staff and field officers. The Tenth was organized at Camp 
Fremont, Iowa City, in August, 1861, mustered into the 
United States seiwice September 6, sent to St. Louis, ar- 
riving on the 23rd, and was there armed, clothed and 
equipped. For several months it was at Cape Girardeau 
and other points in Missouri, and took an active part in the 
capture of New Madrid, and in the movements which re- 
sulted in the capture of a large force of rebels at Island 
No. 10. In April the Tenth was sent to Pittsburg Land- 
ing and took part in the siege and capture of Corinth and 
the pursuit of the enemy to Boonville. It was in the dis- 
astrous pursuit of General Price at luka in September, 
and participated in the bloody battles in and around Cor- 
inth October 3 and 4. In November and December came 
more marching and fighting, and in March joined the 
Yazoo Pass expedition. Subsequently it joined the 
Vicksburg forces, and was at the battles of Port Gibson, 
Eaymond and Jackson. At the battle of Champion Hill, 
May IG, the Tenth was on the left of the brigade, and suf- 
fered heavily, having 34 killed and 124 wounded. 

The regiment was on the Black River most of the time 
until the surrender of Vicksburg, and was then sent in 
pursuit of Johnson. In September the Tenth was sent 
to Memphis to join General Sherman in his march to Chat- 
tanooga, arriving there after a march of thirty-two days, 
and, on October 25, was with the column which so gallant- 
Iv stormed Mission Ridge. This and tlie battle at Cliam- 


pion Hill are counted as the two hardest battles in which 
the regiment was engaged, and in both the Tenth covered 
itself with glory. February -1, 18G4, the regiment re-en- 
listed as veterans, and Avas subsequently sent north on 
veteran furlough. In July it returned to the front, and 
^diile at Kingston, (la., was transferred to the Second 
brigade, and in September the non-veterans were muster- 
ed out, the ranks again partly filled, and the Tenth joined 
in Sherman's march to the sea. January 19, 1865, the reg- 
iment was moved from Savannah into South Carolina 
and Avas on the expedition to Columbia and tlience to 
Goldsboro, entering the latter city after severe fightings 
having marched five hundred miles from Savannah in an 
inclement season, with many of the men nearly naked and 
without shoes. The regiment traveled 8,175 miles and 
fought in eighteen pitched battles besides numerous skir- 
mishes. Up to the battle of Mission Ridge not a man of 
the Tenth had been taken prisoner on a battle field. The 
regiment was mustered oiit at Little Eock, Arkansas, 
August 15, 1805, having served months beyond their term 
of enlistment, and for which they received high commen- 
dation from the department. The following were the 
casualties of the Tenth: 

Ofticers — Killed, 0; wounded, l(i; discharged, 1; resign- 
ed, 32; transferred, 1. 

Privates — Killed, 57; died, 170; wounded, 201; dis- 
charged, 252. 

Polk county was represented on the field and staff as 
follows: Nathaniel McCalla, major, promoted from cap- 
tain Company A; J. O. Skinner, assistant surgeon, com- 
missioned August 19, 1802; William J. Hanger, drum- 
major, promoted from private Company A; William H. 

Purdy, chief musician, mustered out at Bird's Point, Feb- 



ruary 26, 1862; Samuel Noble, chief musician, mustered 
out at Bird's Point February 26, 1862; A. C. Bansman, 
third musician, mustered out Februaiy 26, 1862; John 
W. Warner, third musician, mustered out February 26, 
1862; Frank Estabrook, third musician, mustered out Feb- 
ruaiy 26, 1862. 

Frank M. Miles, of Des Moines, at the request of the 
authorities, voluntarily took a veiy active part in the en- 
listment and organization of the Tenth, giving freely his 
labor, time and money for this pui'pose, and would have 
went to the front with the regiment had it been possible 
for him to do' so at that time. 


Nathaniel McCalla, captain; promoted to major Janu- 
ary 25, 1862; wounded at Mission Ridge November 25, 
1863; commissioned lieutenant colonel, August 20, 1864; 
commission revoked by the Governor, January 25, 1865; 
mustered out as major, December 27, 1864. 

Charles J. Clark, first lieutenant; resigned December 3, 

Josiah Hopkins, second lieutenant; resigned June 27, 

Hezekiah VanDom, first sergeant; promoted to first 
lieutenant July 1, 1862; mustered out January 16, 1865. 

William J. Harvey, second sergeant. 

John 0. Sullivan, third sergeant. 

John Y. Hanna, fourth sergeant; promoted to first lieu- 
tenant December 4, 1861; resigned June 26, 1862. 

Ebenezer E. Howe, promoted to first lieutenant January 
17, 1865; commissioned captain August 7, 1865; mustered 
out as first lieutenant, veteranized as sergeant. 

•Enlisted August 21, 1861, unless otherwise stated. 


John D. Kellison, first corporal; wounded October 4, 
1862, at Corinth, Mississippi. 

Edward W. Burley, second corporal. 

Jonathan J. Wright, third corporal; wounded at Cox 
Bridge, North Carolina, March 20, 1865; veteranized as 

Thomas Spencer, foiirth corporal; veteranized as cor- 

Peter B. Mishler, fifth corporal; discharged at expira- 
tion of term; died at Baltimore, Md., on his way home. 

John Eutherford, sixth corporal; veteranized as cor- 

George Bader, eighth corporal; wounded at Vicksburg 
May 22, 1863; veteranized as corporal. 

William J. Hanger, musician; promoted to drum-major; 
discharged March 20, 1863. 

Theodore B. Smith, musician; veteranized as musician. 


Baker, John, wounded May 22, 1863, at Vicksburg. 

*Bard, George W. 

Bean, Stephen S., promoted to corporal; killed at Cham- 
pion's Hill May 16, 1863. 

Byram, Adam. 

Courtney, George W., died August 1, 1862, at Clear 
Creek, Missouri. 

*Corey, Cassius M. C. D. 

Crabtree, Matthew, discharged March 25, 1863. 

*Cox, Clark. 

Dinwiddle, Simon E., died July 19, 1862, at Farmington, 

*Downs, Frederick, wounded at luka September 19,. 

•Veteranized Februarj' 1, 1864. 


Elliott, Abraham. 

■^English, Arthui-. 

Fletcher, Gideon E., died May 20, 18(32, at Polk City, 

HaAAkins, Andrew J. 

Hader, Henry. 

*IIanimond, John 11., wounded May 22, lS(i3, at ^'icks- 

Hammond, Amos F., wounded May 22, 18(i2, at Farming- 
ton, Miss. 

*Hellnms, Frank M. 

Henderson, Joshua, discharged January 2(i, 1802. 

Horner, William. 

Ingersoll, Daniel AV. 

Jones, David. 

Lewis, James, died January 3, 18()3, at Columbus, Ken- 

McDowell, Elliott, wounded May 22, 18<;3, at A'icks- 

*Meekins, William P., promoted to fourth sergeant Sep- 
tember (i, 1801; to second lieutenant July 1, 1802; wounded 
at Champion's Hill May K!, 18(>3; mustered out December 
2G, 18(;4. 

*Miller, Jonathan K., discharged June 28, 1865. 

Murray Caswell, died February 10, 1802, at Brooklyn, 

Murray, Thomas, killed at Vicksburg May 31, 1803. 

Murray, Andrew, wounded at Chami)ion's Hill May 10, 
1803 ; died May 22, 1803, of wounds. 

Nussbaum, Martin \., discharged February 25, 18(i3. 

Nussbaum, Isaac J., killed May l(i, 18(i3, at Champion's 

*A'eterani/.ecl I-'ebruarv 1, l«ii4. 


Nussbaum, Johu L. • ' 

Palmer, Lewis H. 

Patterson, Thomas. 

Pierce, Thomas J., (Tischarged XoA'ember 15, 1S63. 

Pierce, Elijah L., discharged December 5, 1862. 

Pollock Robert R. 

*Eichardson, Edwin. 

*Kicliards, Davis. 

lieed, Simon. 

l\oe, John. 

Eohr, Eobert H., wounded at Yicksbnrg May 22, 1863. 

Rule, John T., captured at Brownsville, Mississippi, Oc- 
tober 9, 1863; died in Andersonville prison May 7, 1861. 

*Russell, John. 

Smith, John E., promoted to fife-major; reduced to 
ranks November 1, 1861; discharged April 14, 1862. 

Stephen, John. 

Spencer, Wm., died at Cape Girardeau, Missouri, No- 
vember 23, 1861. 

*Swim, William G., veteranized as first sergeant; dis- 
cliarged as first lieutenant. 

Terrill, Lemuel, wounded at Gorinth, October 4, 1862; 
died October, 1863, in Polk County. 

Townsend, Caleb, discharged August 13, 1862. 

*Wheeler, Thomas. 

*Wright, John W., discharged May 22, 1863; re-enlisted 
as veteran in Company B. 

McDowell, Palmer, October 1; from First MisS(niri 

Murray, Wm., November 30. 
Cockeral, Frank, December 1. 

*Veteranized Februurv 1, 1864. 


Hosier, Cross O., December 10; captured at Browns- 
ville, Mississippi, October 9, 1863. 

Curl, Hiram F. (T.), December 17, transferred to invalid 
corps August 1, 1863. 

*Hanna, Simon B., veteranized as sergeant. 

Fletcher, Isaac, December 12; killed at Champion's 
Hill May 16, 1863. 

*Mercer, Edward W., December 10. 

Hanman, Wm. W., discharged September 8, 1862. 

*Bunyan, Wm. T. 

Eohr, Jacob, September 11, 1862. 

Bard, John, September 17, 1862; wounded at Vicksburg 
May 22, 1863; died August 7, 1863. 

Murray, Larkin, September 11, 1862. 

Edwards, Edward, September 11, 1862. 

Hoy, Thomas H., September 12, 1862; wounded at Cham- 
pion's Hill May 16, 1863; transferred to invalid corps De- 
cember 29, 1863. 

Fosdick, Leroy, September 12, 1862. 

Harvey, Geo. W., September 11, 1865; died November 
1, 1862, at Davenport. 

Elliott, William, February 27, 1864. 

Skidmore, George, December 1, 1863; died October 4, 
1864, at Kingston, Georgia. 


Bentley, Geo. M., first lieutenant; resigned April 26, 

*McClure, O. John, third corporal; veteranized as fourth 
sergeant February 1, 1864. 

*Wright, John W., fourth corporal; promoted to second 
lieutenant February 24, 1863; wounded at Champion's 

*Veteriinized Fehniiiry 1, 186-1. 
**Enlistefl August 23, 186), unless otherwise stated. 


Hill May 16, 1863; captured a.t Missionary Ridge Noyem- 
ber 25, 1863; mustered out January 13, 1865. 
Pierson, Eiihraim, fifth corporal. 


Boyd, Robert H., discharged December 27. 1862. 

*Case, William. 

Davis, Jacob K., wounded at Champion's Hill May 16, 
1863; died June 13, 1863, of wounds. 

Fink, John F., died at Mound City, Illinois, October 27, 

*Hargis, Stephen M., veteranized as corporal. 

*Kenworthy, Steele, veteranized as first lieutenant. 

Keeney, John (Kenney), died May 23, 1863, at Milliken's 
Bend, Louisiana. 

Manbeck, Isaiah. 

Reed, Thomas H., promoted to corporal; killed at Cor- 
inth October 4, 1862. 

Spence, Absalom, died December 11, 1861, at Mound 
City, Illinois. 

Hanton, Wm. H., died December 25, 1861, at Bird's 
Point, Missouri. 

Shepherd, Robert H. 

Steele, William, discharged October 1, 1862. 

Taylor, John (Jehu), C, discharged January 5, 1863. 

Updegraph, Jerome, wounded at Champion's Hill May 
16, 1863; died July 19, 1863, of wounds, at Memphis. 


Fisher, Isaac, discharged June 7, 1862. 
Kenworthy, Bruce, joined from Company K. 
Lang, Daniel R., joined from Company K; discharged 
March 11, 1863. 

♦Veteranized February 1, 1864. 


Means, James M., discliai^ged October 25, 1862. 
Watts, John, joined from Company K; discharged June 
14, 18G2. 

Moore, Daniel, September 1, 1802. 
Dooley, Silas, Jannai-y 10, 1S65. 
Deets, Noah, January 13, 1865. 

*Benj. (). Hanger, musician. ■; 


Fuller, John J., January 23, 1862; discharged January 
22, 1863. 

White, Elijah M (or A.), wounded at Corinth October 4, 

Becket, Luke, January 11, 1865. 

Gossard, 'W^m. A., April 1, 1862; wounded at Cham- 
pion's Hill May 16, 1863. 

McKinney, Wm. B., February 11, 1862; wounded at 
Champion's Hill May 16, 1863. 

Stone (Stine), 'Xoah F., September 3, 1862; died at 
Vicksburg August 24, 1863. 

Rhodes, Hiram, September 3, 1862. 

Pike, Andrew 11., September 3, 1862. 

Wiley, IJobert, September 3, 1862; wounded at Cham- 
pion's Hill May 16, 1863. 

Guthrie, James H., January 19, 1865. : 

Harlow, Wm. H., January 14, 1865. 

Rhoades, Hugh, January 16, 1865. 

Sharp, John, January 16, 1865. 

Todd, William. 

*Veteriinized February 1, J 864. 
**Enlisted in ISGl, unless otherwise stated. 



Freel, John W., March 10, 1862; captured at Browns- 
ville, Mississippi, October 12, 1863; died at Anderson- 
ville prison September 3, 1864. 

Lj-ncli, Andrew J., March 17, 1862; Avonnded at Mcks- 
burg May 22, 1863. 

Moore, Thomas R. (K), March 17, 1862; wounded at 
Missionary Ridge November 25, 1863. 

Renuff, Benjamin, March 18, 1862; died at Milliken's 
Bend, Louisiana, August 11, 1863. 

^^llliams, Albin, February 10, 1862; (also reported 
Allen W.) 


Reed, Donivan, March 10, 1862; (reported also Doni- 
than, R,); wounded at Corinth October 4, 1862; died No- 
vember 4, 1862, at Mound City, of wounds. 

Fox, Jacob, September 1, 1862; died September 3, 1863, 
on steamer City of Memphis. 

Miles, Josiah, March 10, 1862; discharged September 
12, 1862. 

Thomas, Charles N., February 10, 1862. 

Ranney, Franklin E., September 1, 1862. 

Price, Henry N., September 1, 1862; drowned at Milli- 
ken's Bend April 23, 1863. 

Miller, Henry A., September 1, 1862. 

Bean, Michael C, August 23, 1862. 

Drake, Oliver, August 25, 1862; discharged June 1, 1865. 

Kavanaugh, Ira, September 1, 1862; wounded at Cham- 
pion's Hill May 16, 1863. 

Reed, William, August 25, 1862; wounded at Cham- 
pion's Hill May 16, 1863. 

Shafer, James W., March 30, 1864. 

Shafer, John M., March 30, 1864. 



*Robert Liisby, captain; wounded at Champion's Hill 
May 16, 1863; promoted to major August i20, 1863; not 
mustered; captain and acting adjutant-general July 21, 
1864; died at Fort Sumner, New Mexico, February 20, 

*Julian Bausman, first sergeant; promoted to first lieu- 
tenant September 4, 1862; promoted to captain January,. 
1864; not mustered; mustered out as first lieutenant De- 
cember 19, 1864. 

Wm. H. Dunkle, first corporal; discharged October 25,. 

* William Eahm, veteranized as first lieutenant; pro- 
moted to captain January 4, 1865. 

Jacob Horuer, wagoner; discharged February 13, 1862. 


Anfenson, Ole. 

Brand, Martin V. 

Bruner, Wm. C, wounded at Corinth October 4, 1862; 
transferred to invalid corps September 15, 1863. 

*Baylies, Wm. C, veteranized as sergeant. 

Bell, Wm. A., wounded at Chattanooga November 2o„ 

Brown, Wm. C. (or F.), discharged April 23, 1862. 

Dinwiddle, Lewis F. 

Gill, John W. 

Long, Daniel E., transferred to Company B September 
28, 1861; discharged March 11, 1863. 

Rommel, Henry A. 

Scudder, John M., discharged September 17, 1862. 

'Veteranized .Tanuary 1, 18(U. 
**Enlistecl October 1, 1861, unless otherwise stated. 


Watts, John, transferred to Company B September 28,, 
1861; discharged June 11, 1862. 


Hallsworth, Andrew, December 19; killed at Corinth 
October 4, 1862. 

Samples, Jesse, December 19. 

Iglan, Henry, December 18; died September 12, 1863,, 
at St Louis. 

Ivers, Joseph, December 19; wounded at Champion's^ 
Hill May 16, 1863; discharged August 11, 1863. 

Solon, Charles, December 4. 

Adams, Allington, February 10, 1862. 

Dillman, David B., February 18, 1862; discharged July 
6, 1863. 

*McRoberts, John, March 10, 1862. 

*Stevenson, Eeuben B., March 6, 1862. 

Van Brunt, Henry M., February 10, 1862; captured at 
Chattanooga November 25, 1863; died March 3, 1864, in 
rebel prison at Richmond, Va. 

Whittaker, Burton M., February 10, 1862, (reported alsO' 
Purtiamond M.); died at Davenport June 25, 1864. 

Weekley, Merritt, February 22, 1862; died March 25, 
1863, at Goldsboro, North Carolina. 

Surber, Christopher C, August 29, 1862; killed at ( liam- 
piou's Hill May 16, 1863. 

Riordon, Michael, April 15, 1861; wounded at Cham- 
pion's Hill May 18, 1862. 

Williams, Jonathan, September 11, 1862; died October 
25 ,1862, at Davenport 

Dearinger, Jared, July 23, 1864; company unknown. 

♦Veteranized January 1, lS6i. 



The Thirteenth Infauti-y Avas organized in October, 
1802, and its first colonel was Marcellns M. Crocker, of 
Des Moines, who was promoted from lieutenant colonel 
of the Second Infantry, and who started in as captain of 
the famous ( 'ompany D. He was in command of the reg- 
iment a comparatively short time before he was made a 
brigadier general. In that time, however, he and the 
Thirteenth were in two hard fought battles, Shiloh and 
Corinth. At Corinth he commanded the noted Iowa bri- 
gade composed of the Eleventh, Thirteenth, Fifteenth and 
Sixteenth. He was a bold and able leader and as a division 
commander had few if any superiors. A more extended 
notice of this gallant officer appears elsewhere. The 
Thirteenth had its baptism of blood at Shiloh, where it 
was under tire for ten hours, sustaining a loss of twenty- 
four killed, one hundred and thirty-nine wounded and 
nine missing. Becoming a part of the famous Iowa bri- 
gade, its history is merged into the brilliant history of that 
tighting brigade, and it participated in most of the noted 
battles, marches and campaigns of the war. It was in the 
three unparalleled marches under General Sherman: 
from Dalton to Atlanta, from Atlanta to Savannah, from 
Savannah to (ioldsboro and Washington. The total casual- 
ties (if the regiment were .542 enlisted men and forty-nine 
officers, or the largest in officers of any Iowa regiment 
except the Second, Sixth and Seventh. The Thirteenth 
was mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky, July 21, 1S()5. 


Watson, John 11., May 1, IStil; transferred from Com- 
pany I), Second infantry, N(n'ember 7, 18(il; promoted 
quai-ternnister-sergeant February, 18(52; jiromoted to 
tirst lieutenant, Comjiany F, September 12, 18fi2. 



Baird, Btepheu B., October 21. 
Hoss, Jacob V., October 15. 
Lamb, James H., October 10. 
Lamb, John H., October l(i. 
Penor, Wm. H., October 16. 
Stewart, John, October 29. 


Watson, John H., second lieutenant, from quartermas- 
ter-sergeant; transferred from Company I); wounded or 

Shiloli April (>, liS(>2; died at Pittsburg Landing April 9, 



In tliis gallant regiment I'olk county was re])resented 
in ('ompanie.s B, F and G. The Fifteenth was organized 
in February, 1802, mustered into I". S. service March 14, 
and was at Pittsburg Landing in April, where in its first 
fight it lost in two days over one-fourth of its numl>er. 
Its gallant history is thus summed up: 

I. Pittsburg Landing — Battle of Shiloh. 

II. Siege of Corinth — Summer and fall of 1802 — B(di- 
var—Iuka— Battle of Corinth, October 3d and 1th— Pur- 
suit of Rebels to Eipley — Keturn to Corinth October 13th. 

III. Winter Campaign, 1802 — Grand Junction — Holly 
Springs — Oxford — Abbeville — Yockena Station — -Keturn 
to Lafayette — Memphis — Front of Vicksburg — Milliken's 
Bend — Providence — Canal digging to ((uinect the Missis- 
sippi with bayous Macon and Tensas. 

IV. Vicksburg Campaign — Milliken's Bend — Holmes' 
Plantation — Grand Gulf — Haines' Bluff — "SA'arrenton — 

*Enlisted lS(il, unless otherwise stated. 


Mechanicsville Expedition — Rear of Vicksburg — Black 
River Expedition — Messenger's Ferry — Jackson — Return 
to Vicksburg. 

V. Fall and Winter, 1863-4 — Expedition to Monroe, 
La., in August; to Jackson in October; to Redbone in De- 
cember; Meridian in February, 1864; Veteran furlough 
in March and April; thence to Huntsville, Alabama. 

VI. Summer Campaign of 1864 — Huntsville — Decatur 
— Rome — Ackworth — Sherman's March — Battles of Big 

Shanty, Noonday Ci'eek, Brushy Mountain, Kenesaw, 
Nick-a-Jack Creek, Atlanta, July 20 to 28 — Jonesboro — 
Lovejoy — Atlanta. 

VII. Fall Campaign of 1864 — Reconnoisance to Pow- 
der Springs — Pursuit of Hood to Reseca — Gaylesville — 
Marietta — March to the Sea — Savannah, November and 
December, 1864. 

VIII. Winter Campaign through the Carolinas — 
Beaufort — Battles of Garden Corner and Poctaligo, Jan. 
14th; Salkahatchie, Feb. 3d; Orangeburg Feb. 12th; Colum- 
bus, Feb. 13th; Fayette, March 11th; Bentonsville, March 
20th; on to Goldsboro. This was one of the most arduous 
campaigns in the history of the regiment. Its marches 
by night through swamps for hours, waist deep, amongst 
dense forests and snags, will never be forgotten. For 
its promptness and heroism it received the special com- 
mendation of commanding officers. 

IX. Closing Campaign — Northward to "finish the job" 
— Raleigh — Review by Gen. Grant April 23d, Jones' Sta- 
tion — Surrender of Johnson — March to Petersburg — 
Richmond — Washington — Louisville — Muster out July 
24, 1865 — Home again at Davenport July 29th. 

Out of 1,763 men who were members of the regiment 


during its organization, 1,051 were absent, killed, died or 
crippled for life; proof of valor, patriotism, and love of 
country. It is said to have suffered more casualties than 
any regiment sent from the state. It carried its battle 
flag 7,898 miles, and it now hangs in the State capitol. 

The regiment had three colonels: Hugh T. Keid, W. W. 
Belknap, promoted to brigadier-general, and J. M. Hed- 
rick, promoted to brigadier-general by brevet General 
Belknap subsequently became Secretary of War. The 
casualties Avere: Officers killed in action, 6; died of 
wounds, 2; of disease, 1; wounded, 27; discharged, 3; 
resigned, 27; enlisted men killed, 52; died of wounds, 78; 
died of disease, 194; discharged, 302; wounded, 394; cap- 
tured, 78. Polk County was represented in Companies 
B and F, and on the staff to-wit: James H. Flint, quar- 
ter-master, Lucius Boudinot. 


Wilson T. Smith, captain, August 2G. 

Adolphus G. Studer, first lieutenant; wounded at Shiloh, 
April 6, 1862; promoted captain May 24, 1862; resigned 
Jan. 18, 1863. 

*Christian E. Landstrum, second lieutenant; promoted 
to first lieutenant May 24, 1862; to captain Jan. 19, 1863; 
mustered out May 16, 1865. 

Henry Moreland, first sergeant; wounded at Shiloh, 
April 6, 1862; discharged November 1, 1862. 

William Stanberry, fifth sergeant; died at Corinth July 
5, 1862. 

L. Jacob Kelsey, September 26; third corporal; pro- 
moted to second corporal July 9, 1862; captured at 

'Veteranized January 19, 1863. 
**Enlisted in 1861, unless otherwise stated. 


Kees Wilkiiis, fourth corporal, November 1; promoted 
to second sergeaut March 27, 1S62; to second lieutenant 
May 24, 1SG2; resigned December KJ; (also rep<irted Resin 

*('harles E. Harvey, fifth corporal, September 11; re 
duced to ranks October 18, 1862; wounded at Atlanta, 
Georgia, June 17, 1861. 

James IT. Flint, sixth corporal, October 12; promoted 
to (piartermaster-sergeaut September 8, 1862. 

(leorge L. Kees, seventli corporal, September 25; pro- 
moted to fourth sergeant September 15, 1862; died Feb- 
ruary 7, 1863, at Yicksburg. 


Atmore, Elijah AV., September 12; promoted to third 
corporal October 7, 1862. 

Ballard, John, October 8; discharged October 17, 1862. 

*Boudinot, Wm. A., November 1; captured at Atlanta 
July 22, 1861. 

Beekmau, Ohas., October 11; died at Keokuk December 
25, 1861. 

Brazelton, Oliver P., October 22; discharged March 28, 

Burge, Andrew J., December 21; died at Pittsburg 
Landing Juue 1, 1862. 

*raunon, ^Vui. P., November 4; veteranized as corporal. 

Cross, Robert W., November 4; promoted to commis- 
sary-sergeant, December 1, 18()1; to quartermaster-ser- 
geant, Tweuty-third Infantry, August 11, 1862. 

Curran, Robert, December 21; dis(diarged February 6, 

Conner, Leroy S., January 28, 1862; discharged August 
5, 1863. 

'Veteranized .Jiinuury 19, 18()3. 


Campbell, Milton, February 14 

Close, Wm. L., March 1, 1862; died March, 1862, at Keo- 

*Dickey, Wm. A., October 11. 

Edmondson, Henry, October 8; wounded at Shiloh, 
April 6, 1862; discharged May 26, 1862, for wounds. 
Elliott, Milton B., February 4, 1862. 
*Fox, Columbus P., September 10; captured at Atlanta, 
Georgia, July 22, 1864. 

*Fisher, John, October 2; wounded at Atlanta August 
22, 1864. 

*Fennesty, Thos., October 8; captured at Atlanta July 
22, 1864. 

Fredergill, Christian, October 18. 

*Fisher, John S., November 1; wounded at Atlanta 
August 23, 1864. 

Flemming, Samuel, November 6; promoted to musician; 
discharged June 18, 1862. 

Foster, Joel, November 6; discharged November 13, 

Fessler, John, November 6; discharged November 27, 

Foster, Samuel, January 21, 1863; died at Vicksburg 
January 29, 1864. 

Green, Luther T., October 25; discharged June 16, 1862. 
Guthrie, John W., October 25; died at Keokuk May 21, 

*Goodrell, Mancil G, January 29; promoted to fourth 
corporal August 4, 1862; transferred to marine brigade 
for promotion April 18, 1865. ' 

*Goodrell, Wm. H., January 31; promoted to fourth 
corporal March 27, 1862; to fourth sergeant July 1, 1862; 

*Veteranl7,ed January 19, 1863. 



to first lieutenant, Company F, September 14, 1802; to 
captain, Company B, June 5, 1865. 

Ganus, John, February 1. 

Glenn, Franklin, February 14. 

*Hudson, Charles H., October 12. 

*Hahnan, John, September 25. 

Hazen, Edward, October 30; transferred to Company 
C, December 1, 1861; discharged May 9, 1862; (reported 
also Edward Hague.) 

■•■Hardin, James, Xovember 1; wounded at Atlanta 
August 23, 1864. 

Johnson, Jonathan, February 4; transferred to Com- 
pany H, March 1, 1862; wounded at Shiloh April 0, 1802; 
discharged July 3, 1862. 

■^Lester, George W., October 8. 

Lloyd, Calvin, September 26; died at St. Louis. 

*Lunt, Edward D., October 14; yeteranized as corporal; 
captured at Atlanta July 12, 1864. 

*Lyon, Eobert, November 0; promoted to fifth sergeant 
August 26, 1864. 

Lenehan, Thomas, February 13, 1862; killed at Ezra 
Church, Georgia, July 28, 1864. 

Lyon, Thomas W., February 18, 1802. 

■*Long, Charles, February 15, 1862; promoted to fifth 
corporal August 26, 1864. 

Mathias, James H., October 15; died at Jackson, Ten- 
nessee, September 3, 1802. 

McCauley, James, October 11. 

Morgan, Anson D., promoted to third corporal August 
1, 1862; wounded at Corinth October 2, 1862; died of 
wounds October 6, 1862. 

Mardis, Samuel, January 20, 1862; died on steamboat 
hospital, June 1, 1862. 

* Veteranized January 19, 186.3. . , , , , 


*Meek, Eeuben, January 21, 1862; wouuded Maj^ 1, 

Newlaud, Jasper N., January 16, 1862; died of wounds 
at Monterey, Tennessee, July 1, 1862. 

Overmier, Amos, January 20, 1862; promoted to fifth 
corporal October IS, 1862; wounded May 1, 1862. 

Paine, John, September 14; wounded at Shiloh, April 
6, 1862. 

Pnrsley, William H., October 5; transferred to Com- 
pany I), Seventeenth Eegiment, March 1, 1862. 

*Ivaygei', Thomas, October 18; wounded at Atlanta, 
July 21, 1864. 

Eoper, George W., October 15; discharged November 
23, 1862. 

Skinner, Daniel J., January 16, 1862; wounded at Shi- 
loh, April 6, 1862; discharged December 4, 1862. 

Teal, Cornelius, September 14; discharged July 11, 

Thomas, Loren S., October 30; discharged March 15, 

Thornton, Thomas J., October 30; discharged Novem- 
ber — , 1862. 

Thompson, Amos, October 30. 

Taylor, Henry P., February 6, 1862; died at Keokuk 
March 14, 1862. 

Wenzel, Conrad, September 9; killed at Shiloh, April 6, 

Wilson, Thomas H., October 10; transferred to Com- 
pany H March 15, 1862. 

Waldo, William W., October 12; discharged October 1, 

Williams, Lewis H., October 25; promoted to seventh 
corporal September 15, 1862. 

♦Veteranized January 19, 1863. 


Winters, David K., Januarj- 29, 1802; wouuded at Shi- 
loli October 3, 1862; died October 19, 1862, at Mound City, 

*Stram, David W., January 16, 1862; (also reported 
David M. Strain); promoted to fourth corporal August 6, 

Stoughton, Benjamin F., February 16, 1862; wounded 
at Shiloli April 6, 1862; died of wounds April 26, 1862, at 
Louisville, Kentucky. 


Benedict, Jason, January 4, 1864. 

Jones, Robert B., December 21, 1863. 

Parker, James M., January 5, 1864. 

Johnson, James F., March 22, 1864. 

Spotts, Franklin, October 3, 1864; died July 4, 1865, at 
, Stram, Wm. H., March 21, 1864. 

Wells, Levi, March 22, 1864; wounded at Atlanta July 
23, 1864. 

Blair, Andrew F., January 1, 1865. 

Hamilton, Joseph M., September 26, 1864. 

Powell, Elihu, September 28, 1864. 

Quinuett, Vandamon, September 28, 1864; discharged 
April 14, 1865. 


William H. Goodrell, first lieutenant; commissioned 
September 14, 1862, from fourth sergeant Company B; 
promoted to captain of Company B Jv;ne 5, 1865. 


Paul, Joseph H., March 22, 1864; wounded, date and 
place unknown. 

*Veteranized .Tannary 19, 1863. 


Mayes, James A., January 10, 1865; died at Beaufort, 
South Carolina, March 20, 1865. 
Sanders, Levi H., March 22, 1864. 
Farley, Matt, March 22, 1864. 


There were some twenty-four Polk county men in this 
fighting regiment and they all did 'their part in making 
for it the gallant record the Sixteenth made in the many 
battles and marches of the war. The history of this gal- 
lant regiment is, through a now unavoidable error, omit- 
ted. The names of the Polk County men in it are as fol- 
lows : . - . . 


Harbor, James C, musician; January 10, 1862. 

Gilkey, William F., October 10, 1861; discharged at Jack- 
son, Tenn., date unknown. 

Hester, Levi R., October 10, 1861; killed at luku, Septem- 
ber 19, 186i. 

Hester, Stephen, October 10, 1861. 

Hester, Francis M., April 4, 1864; wounded at Mckajack 
Creek, July 21, 1864; discharged February 7, 1805, for 

Huber, James S., January 10, 1862. 

Wright George W., February 1, 1862. 

Chrisman, Lorenzo D., January 5, 1864; wounded at 
Nickajack Creek July 21, 1864; discharged May 29, 1864. 

Adkinson, Willaby, January 1, 1864; wounded at Nicka- 
jack Creek July 21, 1864. 

Shearer, John R., January 5, 1864; wounded in 1864; 
date and place not given. 

Pierce, Thomas G., December 31, 1863. 

(Thomas G. Pierce, senior, reported captured at Atlanta, 


July 22, 1864; discharged May 31, 1865; Thomas G. Pierce, 
junior, wounded July 21, 1864, at Nickajack Creek; died 
November 6, 1864, at Chattanooga; date of enlistment not 


Madison R. Laird, second sergeant, December IS; 
wounded at luka, September 19, 1862; promoted to first 
sergeant; to second lieutenant January 12, 1863; captured 
at Atlanta, July 22, 1864; mustered out May 15, 1865. 

Kessler, William H., January 11, 1862; promoted to 
musician; discharged September 12, 1862. 

Ala way, Thomas J., February 17, 1862; died at Vicks- 
burgJulyT, 1863. 

Dei a "It, James C, January 27, 1862; wounded at Shiloh 
April 6. 


*John A. Emery, fifth sergeant; wounded at Kenesaw 
Mountain June 27, 1864; captured at Atlanta; Ga., Julj' 
22, 1862. 

Ashley, James, March 1. 

Gulick, John (Galick), Februarj'- 25; wounded; date and 
place unknown. 

Pierce, Andrew, February 5; discharged at Corinth; 
date not known. 

Redman, J. F., died at Bolivar, Tenn., September 7, 1862. 

*Woods, J. H., February 25. 

Weese, Charles, Januaiy 5, 1864; comx^anj^ unknown. 

Polk County had good soldiers in Companies B, D, F 

**Enlisted in 1861, unless otherwise stated. 
*Veteranized in 1864. 


and K, of this regiment, which was organized at Keokuk 
and mustered into service April 16, 1862, and left St. Louis 
for the front May 4, 1862. After engaging in the siege of 
Corinth and other operations, the Seventeenth engaged in 
its first battle at luka. There, through some blunder, 
which was not the fault of the regiment, and by which it 
suffered greatly, it received censure from the command- 
ing general, Eosecrans. But in a short time thereafter the 
Seventeenth nobly redeemed itself at the battle of Corinth, 
and General Eosecrans publicly thanked the regiment for 
having so bravely redeemed itself from the first blunder at 
luka. The regiment was kept busy for months; was in the 
Yazoo Pass expedition, and afterwards fought gallantly at 
Jackson and Champion Hill, and at the latter place the 
Seventeenth is credited with, by its gallantry and dash, 
having saved the army from disaster. At Vicksburg it was 
in the noted crater, losing heavily. After the close of the 
Vicksburg campaign the Seventeenth was with Sherman 
at Chattanooga, and was in the battle of Lookout Mount- 
ain. Later on at Tilton, Ala., the regiment was posted 
guarding the railroad, when an army of rebels swooped 
down upon them. The vSeventeenth was summoned to sur- 
render, but refused to do so. A desperate defense was 
made against overwhelming odds, but finally was com- 
pelled to surrender. Being exchanged in the winter of 
1864, the regiment was sent north on veteran furlough. 
Subsequently it again went to the front, joining Sherman's 
army at Goldsboro, N. C, and later joined in the triumx^hal 
march through Washington. The following were the cas- 
ualties during the war 

Officers — Killed, 2; died, 5; wounded, 20; resigned, 40; 
discharged, 1. 


Privates — Killed, 43; died, 116; discharged, 222; 
wounded, 225. 

EdAvin J. McGorrisk, of Des Moines, assistant surgeon, 
resigned and was promoted surgeon of tlie Forty-Second 
infantry, which was transferred to the Seventh cavalry, 
and Dr. McGorrisk was commissioned surgeon of the 
Ninth infantry January 4, 1863. 


William H. Hoxie, captain, March 25; promoted from 
private company D, Second infantry; resigned November 
25, 1862. 

Rial Freeman, sixth corporal, February 25; promoted to 
third corporal; to second corporal; discharged, date and 
place unknown. 

Thomas H. Cassida, eighth corporal; promoted to fourth 
corporal; to third corporal; wounded at Champion's Hill, 
May 16, 1863; discharged August 26, 1864. 

PRIVATES. • ■ . 

*Alward, Benjamin P. 

Cassida, James E., March 9. 

Davis, A. S., March 1. 

Freeman, Malon, February 25; promoted to fifth cor- 
poral; wounded at Jackson, Mississippi, May 14, 1863. 

Hastings, Thomas, February 10; wounded at Farming- 
ton, Mississippi, date unknown. 

Highland, Henry H., March 10;wounded at Jackson, Mis- 
sissipi. May 14, 1863. 

Hardshaw, Daniel, March 10; wounded and captured at 
Jackson, Mississippi, May 14, 1863. 

**Enlistecl in 1862, unless otherwise stated. 
*Veteranized January 20, 1864. 


Hanks, Jarvis, March 21; wounded at Champion's Hill 
May 16, 1863. 

*Hanks, DeWitt, March 10; wounded at Champion's Hill 
May 16, 1863. 

Johnson, John, March 5; discharged February 9, 1863. 

Kiser, Amos, March 8; killed at Jackson, Mississippi, 
May 14, 1863. 

*McCulloch, C. H., February 26. 

Merrill, William, February 10; discharged December 30, 

Phelps, Franklin P., January 26, from company B, Fif- 
teenth infantry. 

Pursely, William H., October 1; promoted to sixth cor- 
poral; discharged October 21, 1862. 

Kickabaugh, Wilson, February 11; died July — , 1862, at 
Farmington, Mississippi. 

Eagan, David S., March 22. 

*Smith, Charles P., March 10; wounded at luka Septem- 
ber 19, 1862; promoted to third sergeant September 12, 
1862, for bravery. 

Smith, Thomas H., March 22; wounded at Missionary 
Ridge November 25, 1863; died at New Albany, Indiana, 
December 13, 1864. 

Wakefield, Francis M., February 25; died at Jefferson 
Barracks, Missouri, January 1, 1864. 


Gipson, William M., died April 23, 1862. 
Reese, S. T., April 18, 1862; promoted to second lieuten- 
ant; resigned June 20, 1862. 

*Veteranized January 20, 1864. 



John H. Bi-owne, second lieutenant, May 4, 1862, from 
private, Company D, Second infantry; yeteranized as cap- 
ti\hi June 3, 1863 ; captured at Tilton, Georgia, October 13, 
1864; mustered out March 15, 1865; wounded at Jackson, 
Mississippi, May 14, 1863. 


J. W. M. Young, first corporal, April 7; died at Keokuk 
September 8,- 18<;2. 

Franke, William, March 24; killed at luka September 
19, 1862. 

Fullerton, John A., March 6; promoted to fifth coi^ioral; 
wounded at luka September 19, 1862; yeteranized as ser- 
geant March, 1864. 

Griffith, Selby S., February 7; discharged September 
2, 1862. 

Gipson, William M., March 25; died at Keokuk April 
23, 1862. 

Kessler, Jacob, February 26; promoted to eighth cor- 
poral ; discharged October 13, 1862. 

McCready, William, March 2; discharged September 
2, 1862. 

McCready, Martin F., March 6; wounded at Cham])ion's 
Hill May 16, 1863; veteranized as corporal, March 10, 

Mull, Adam J., April 14. 

Mercer, William, March 25. 

Sanford, Abraham, March 25; discharged July 12, 1862. 

Sherman, Samuel, April 7; wounded at Champion's Hill 
May 16, 1863; captured at Tilton, Georgia, October 13, 1864. 

Thompson, Charles, April 7; discharged March 6, 1863. 

*Enlistecl in 1862, unless otherwise stated. 


Wilson, Samuel W., March 21; wounded at Corintli 
October 3, 1861; wounded at Jackson May 14, 1863; yetev- 
anized March 25, 1864. 

(Owing to the loss of records by capture of the regiment 
at Tilton, Georgia, the list of casualties is incomplete.) 


Some fifteen men from Polk coiinty, were soldiers in 
this regiment, which was organized in Julj', 1862, and mus- 
tered into service August 6, 1862, and served nearly all tlie 
time in Missouri and Arkansas. It had to do considerable 
fighting and a large amount of marching, having alto- 
gether marched over 4,000 miles, a great portion of this 
being over mountains or through swamps. Thej' saw hard 
service. Of its original officers but eight returned witli it. 
Starting out with 860 men, only 400 remained at the muster 
out. Polk county was represented in companies G. and I. 


John H. Loob}^, second lieutenant, July 7; promoted to 
captain October 22, 1863, but not mustered; discharged as 
second lieutenant, December 19, 1863, and promoted to 
first lieutenant, First Missouri Colored regiment. 

Kinsman, Oran, musician, July IT. 


Estell, William, July 10; discharged November 13, 1862. 
McCoy, William J., July 10; died February 19, 1863, at 
Springfield, Mo. 


W^illiam Kagan, first lieutenant, July 7; promoted to 
major, May 12, 1865, but not mustered, mustered out as. 
first lieutenant October 3, 1865. 


(Jharles M. Condon, fourth sergeant, July 12; promoted 
to quartermaster-sergeant; to second lieutenant; to first 
lieutenant May 12, 1865; commissioned captain May 12, 
1805, but mustered out as second lieutenant. 


Brazeltou, Jacob, July 10. 

Ellis, Jason L., July 24; died February 28, 1863, at 
Springfield, Mo. 

Gifford, Isaac, July 18. 

Garrett, John C, July 8. 

Lawson, Jacob, July 21. 

Sharp, David, July 26; discharged March 14, 1863. 

Thornton, Nathan, July 10; died September 21, 1862, at 
Sedalia, Mo. 

Woodrow, Charles B., July 21. 


This regiment was peculiarly attached to the affections 
and history of Des Moines and Polk county, as it was the 
first of the two regiments organized at Des Moines and 
Polk countj' was represented in all of the ten companies. 
It was to a large extent a Polk County regiment. 

The Twenty-third was organized in the late summer and 
fall of 1862, at Des Moines, under the command of Colonel 
William I)ewe,y, and was mustered into the service Septem- 
ber 19, 1862. It first Avent to Keokuk and then on to St. 
Louis, arriving there September 30. For a short time it 
was on provost duty at the latter city, and was finally sent 
to Patterson, Mo., where the regiment suffered much from 
sickness, and there Colonel Dewey died. He was succeed- 
ed by Colonel Kinsman. After some months of duty in 
Missouri the regiment Avas at last ordered to join the Union 


forces, near Vicksburg. March 20, 1863, it started for Mil- 
likeii's Bend, April 11 it proceeded on its march with the 
army below and in the rear of Vicksburg, and on May 1 
was under the fire of the enemy. Held in reserve at 
Champion Hill, at Black Kiver Bridge it led one of the most 
brilliant and successful charges of the war. At this point 
the enemy had a line of entrenchments three miles long 
with a deep bayou in front. The Twenty-third heade<l the 
column of attack, and carried everything before them, 
taking the enemy's works and capturing 2,500 prisoners. 
But their loss was heaw. Colonel Kinsman and one 
captain were mortally wounded, and four other officers 
wounded, and 134 enlisted men killed or Avounded. Here 
Alfred M. Lyon, an early settler and prominent citizen 
of Des Moines, who was at the time sutler of the regiment, 
shouldered his musket and bravely joined in the charge. 
Before it was over he fell mortally wounded and died in a 
short time. 

The Twenty-third, as a mark of honor, was detailed to 
guard the prisoners taken at Black River to Memphis. 
This duty had been performed, and the regiment was on 
its return when chance threw it into the bloody fight at Mil- 
liken's Bend. At Young's Point word reached Colonel 
Glasgow, then in command of the regiment, that the enemy 
was threatening Milliken's Beiid, garrisoned by only a 
few hundred colored troops. The regiment immediately 
went to their relief. Advised to do so by the commanding 
officer of the garrison. Colonel Glasgow remained with the 
troops on the transports, as no immediate attack was ex- 
pected. To his surprise at daylight there was a great com- 
motion noticed among the colored troops, and in a short 
time a long line of the enemy was seen advancing from 
the timber on the doublequick, with intention of at once 


overwhelming the colored trooj^s. Orders were given to 
hurriedly disembark. A few rods back from the river was 
the levee, behind which the colored troops were already 
stationed. Across the open space the Twenty-third must 
pass to reach the levee, and started on the road by the 
right flank. The right of the regiment reached the levee 
as the enemy came up. The left was in the rear, and as it 
came up the enemy poured in a deadly fire. The struggle 
now became to a gTeat extent a hand to hand fight, and a 
most desperate one. It is stated Colonel Glasgow was 
himself bespattered with the blood and brains of his own 
men and those of the enemy. Bayonets were used and 
muskets clubbed. In one instance John Virtue, a power- 
ful man of Comiiany B., came face to face with a rebel on 
the top of the embankment. Both resorted to the bayonets 
and after a few thrusts and parries each pierced the other 
through with fatal Avounds. Then Virtue's comrade, 
Q'homas McDowell, rushed forward and brained the rebel 
Avith his musket. Thus the terrible fight went on until the 
arrival of gxmboats from below, when a few shots drove 
the enemy back to the timber. In this fight Captain 
Brown, who had been a printer in Des Moines, working 
for the writer, but who at the time was in command of a 
Cass County company, met the death of a brave and fear- 
less soldier. After this battle the regiment rejoined its 
brigade in the rear of A'icksburg, where it remained until 
the surrender of that place. 

July 5 the TAventy-third started in pursuit of General 
Johnston, capturing Jackson, Miss., and driA'ing the enemy 
across Pearl River. The hot Aveather and work was hard 
upon the regiment, and it returned with only 120 men fit 
for duty. Augiist 13 it was transferred to the depart- 
ment of the Gulf, and sent to New Orleans. September 4, 


started with General Banks expedition to the Teche 
county, going as far as Opelovisas, and then returned to 
New Orleans. November 16, in connection with otlier 
troops, embarked for the coast of Texas, and captured Fort 
Esperanza on Matagorda Island. January IG the regiment 
went to Indianola, and remained there on post duty until 
March, when it went to Louisiana again to reinforce 
General Banks at Alexandria. It remained in Louisiana 
and Arkansas, imtil sent to Mobile, Ala. to take part in 
one of the last sieges and battles of the war. There the 
regiment again distinguished itself. After the fall of 
Mobile it went with the troops to Texas again, and there 
remained until mustered out of the service at Harrisburg, 
July 2G, 18G5. 

The regiment had three colonels : William Dewej^, who 
died in the field, November 30, 1862; William H. Kinsman, 
killed at the battle of Black River Bridge, May 17, 1863, 
while leading a charge against the enemy, and for whom 
one of the most flourishing G. A. R. posts in this city is 
named, and Samuel L. Glasgow, now a resident of Burling- 
ton, Iowa. These were all brave and skillful officers. The 
casualties were: 

Officers — Killed, 2; died, 5; discharged, 9; wounded, 27. 

Privates — Killed, 39; died, 228; discharged, 177; wound- 
ed, 126; transferred, 42. 

Polk county was represented in Companies A. B. C. E. 
F. G. and on the staff as follows: 

Charles J. Clark, major; Leonard B. Houston, major; 
Robert W. Cross, quartermaster; Arthur J. Barton, chap- 
lain; William Merrill, sergeant-major; Orin Belknap, ser- 
geant-major; Charles S. Hepburn, hospital-steward; James 
R. Crawshaw, fife-major. 



Leonard B. Houston, captain; commissioned August 10; 
promoted major May 19, 1863. 

Theodore G. Cree, second lieutenant, August 1 ; promoted 
to captain May 20, 1863; resigned October 21, 1863. 

Oriu Belknap, junior, fourth sergeant, August 1; pro- 
moted to third sergeant October 1, 1862; discharged 
December 19, 1863. 

William S. Sa^dor, fifth sergeant, August 1 ; promoted to 
fourth sergeant October 1, 1862; discharged January 6, 

Lyman P. Houston, third corporal, August 1. 

Mervin Smith, fourth corporal, July 19; (also Merion); 
discharged October 21, 1863. 


Ashford, Elderkin P., August 1. 

Fagan, Joseph, August 1. 

Hepburn, Charles S., August 14; promoted to hospital- 
steward September 19, 1862; died at Camp Patterson, 
Missouri, November 3, 1862. 

Jones, Albert, July 25. 

Jordan, Henrj C, August 14. 

Lucas, Francis M., July 20; discharged October 19, 1863. 

Lucas, Daniel, August 20; transferred to invalid corps 
May 21, 1864. 

McCain, William S., July 20. 

Saylor, James A., August 1; discharged November 24, 

Stevens, John A., August 3; discharged August 7, 1863. 

Thompson, Andre, August 4; died at New Orleans 
November 7, 1863. 

*Enlisted in 1862, unless otherwise stated. 



Charles J. Clark, captain, August 1; iDromoted to major 
December 1, 1862; to lieutenant-colonel May 19, 1863. 

Joel M. Walker, first lieutenant, August 11; promoted 
to captain December 1, 1862. 

Stephen Waterbury, second lieutenant, August 1; pro- 
moted to first lieutenant December 1, 1862; resigned June 
10, 1863. 

Chauncy A. Williams, first sergeant, August 1 ; promoted 
to second lieutenant December 1, 1862; resigned March 5, 

Henry Crabtree, second sergeant, August 1; promoted to 
first sergeant; wounded at Milliken's Bend June 7, 1863. 

Amos Wright, third sergeant, August 1. 

Calvin M. Burt, fourth sergeant, August 2. 

Oliver P. Rhinehart, fifth sergeant, August 1. 

Erastus S. Derrickson, first corporal, August 2. 

William Benell, second corporal, August 1; promoted to 
sergeant; wounded at Port Gibson, Mississippi, May 1, 
1863; died at Duvall's Bluffs, Ark., December 7, 1864. 

Matthew C. Brown, third corporal, August 7. 

Daniel A. Swim, fourth corporal, August 1. 

George C. Baker, fifth corporal, August 1. 

Sereuo C. Beals, sixth corporal, August 5. 

Emanuel Young, seventh corporal, August 1. 

Edward L. Halladay, eighth corporal, August 2. 

Dwight Derrickson, musician, August 1. 

Joseph Levalley, musician, August 1. 

Ballard, John, August 9 ; promoted to corporal; wounded 
May 28; date and place unknown; died of wounds on board 
of steamer, June 4, 1863. 

♦Enlisted in 1862, unless otherwise stated. 


Beiiililer, Harrison, August 9; wounded at Spanish Fort, 
Alabama, Marcli 22, 1865; promoted to corporal. 

Beigliler, Enoch, August 9; died at Vicksburg Jnlj 23, 

Beeson, Henry II., August 1; wounded at Milliken's 
Bend June 7, 18G3; died of wounds at Van Buren Hospital, 
Louisiana, June 9, 1803. 

Carr, William H., August 13. 

Carr, Henry, August 13; wounded at Anderson's Hill, 
Mississippi, May 1, 18G3; transferred to inx'alid corps 
February IG, 18G3. 

Condit, Daniel M., August 5; died at Vicksburg July 26, 

Coyey, William, Augxist 8. 

Derrickson, William W., August 1; discharged Decem- 
ber 1, 1862. 

Dennis, John, August 8. 

Entwistle, George W., August 7. 

Filmer, John, August 13; killed at Milliken's Bend June 
7, 1863. 

Grimes, Dayid S., August 15; discharged February 24, 

Grigsby, George W., August 2; wounded near ^'icksburg 
June, 1863; died on hospital steamer City of Memphis, July 
14, 1863. 

Hughes, Eusebius, August 5. 

Henkel, John S., August 14; discharged June 15, 1863. 

Henkel, Benjamin, W., August 14, died at Fort Esper- 
anza, Texas, March 21, 1864. 

Herbert, William, August 9. 

Hanna, Cyrus G., August 9. 

Ho\yland, Cliarlcs A., August 5; discharged (-September 
5, 1864. 


Harlow, Lloyd, August G. 

Haiiow, Eaiidolph F., August G; died at Yieksburg July 
5, 1863. 

Jones, Andrew J., August 1. 

Johnson, William P., August 21; discharged July 25, 

Kirsher, John, August 13; discharged July 25, 1S(;3. 

Kirsher, Jasper, August S; transferred to invalid corps; 
■date unknown. 

Koons, Elijah, August 15. 

Kratzer, n(»ward, August 14. 

Lyon, William D., August 7. 

Lyon, James H., August 1; wounded at Millikeu's Bend 
June 7, 18G3; transferred to invalid corps April 30, 18G3. 

Leonard, Lawrence, August 11; died at St. Louis, Jul^^ 
14, 1863. 

Little, Louis, August 21. 

Madison, Anderson J., August 1; trausferrc<l to invalid 
corps July 5, 18G5. 

Millard, Homer A., August 7. 

Millard, Henry J., August 1; died at Mcksburg July 23, 

Mosgrove, William, August 1; wounded at Port (iibson 
May 1, 18G3; died of wounds June G, 1863, at Magnolia 
Hospital, Mississippi. 

Miller, Jonathan G., August 1. 

Miller, Ezra W., August 1. 

Mclntire, William K., August 7; discharged February 
26, 1863. 

McDowell, Thomas, August 2; promoted to corporal; 
wounded at Milliken's Bend June 7, 18G3; died at Eddy- 
ville August 2G, 1863. 

McCanley, Charles H., August 1. 


Mey, Julius L., August 21. 

Murphy, John, August 1. 

Nussbaum, Beuj. F., August 1; wounded at Vicksburg 
June 14, 1863; died June 20, 1863, at A^icksburg of wounds. 

Nelson, Thomas, August 2. 

Nicholas, George M., August 7. 

Napper, Renard, August 7; wounded at Milliken's Bend 
June 7, 1863. 

Pritchard, John, August 1. 

Rilej', George, August 9; died on battle-field at Little 
Rock July — , 1864. 

Stover, Henderson, August 1; wounded at Millikeu's 
Bend Jime 7, 1863; discharged June 3, 1864. 

Shaw, James E., August 7. 

kSummy, Henry B., August 1; wounded at Millikeu's 
Bend June 7, 1863. 

Sharp, Donald C, August 1; wouuded, date and place 
unknown; died of wounds at St. Louis November 14, 1862. 

Shellhart, George, August 1. 

Shellhart, Samuel, August 9. 

Stevens, George C., Augaist 5; died at Patterson, Mis- 
souri, December 9, 1862. 

Schooner, Randolph, August 15; discharged April 19, 

Swope, Henry H., August 1. 

Sibbett, Beuj. F., August 7. 

Spencer, Thomas, August 5. 

Vestal, Solomon A., August 1. 

Virtue, John, August 1; wouuded at Milliken's Bend 
June 7, 1863; died on steamer City of Memphis June 10, 

Waternmn, Andrew J., August 9; discharged December 
26, 1864. 


Waterman, Hemy, August 21. 

Warden (Worden), George, August 5; discharged 
December 26, 1864. 

Wilson, Clark, August 6; died at Keokuk July 5, 1861. 

Wiley, James, August 10. 

Wood, Hartford, August 11. 

Wacker, John, August 1. 

Walker, Augustus D., August 2. 

Walker, John S., August 5; wounded at Milliken's Bend 
Juue 7, 1863. 

Weitman, Francis, August 11; pi'omoted to first ser- 
geant; to second lieutenant March 6, 1863. 

Yazel, David, August 1. 

Young, Daniel, August 2; discharged March 12, 1863. 

Young, Henry B., August 4; discharged April 12 1863. 

Young, Henry, August 2; discharged April 12, 1863. 

Young, Isaac, August 7. 


Dunwoody, Lorenzo D., February 26, 1864, died at New 
Orleans August 18, 1864. 

Ooffman, Isaac, March 22, 1864. 
Miller, Lorenzo P., March 24, 1864. 
Story, William C, June 26 1863. 
Swim, James E., March 26, 1864. 
Warden Daniel, March 23, 1864. 
Young Louis, March 28, 1864. 


James C. Gregg, captain, July 24 ; resigned jSTovember 25, 

*Enlisted in 1862 unless otherwise stated. 


Jdliii A. T. Hull, first licniteiiant, July 24; promoted to 
captain Xovember 2(>, 18(;2. 

Beiijamiii JeimingS; second lieutenant, Aug'ust 7; pro- 
moted to first lieutenant January 1, 18G3; to ca])tain. 
November 0, 1S63. 

AMlliam H. DoAvns, first sergeant, August 0; j»romoted 
to second lieutenant January 1, 18G3; killed at Milliken's 
IJend June 7, 1S<;3. 

I)a\id AA'. Johnson, third sergeant, August 0. 

William Kysar, fourth sergeant August 1; pi-onioted 
to second sergeant October 4 18(i2; died at St. Louis July 
]G 18G3. 

Francis M. Howard, fifth sergeant August 1; i»ronn)ted 
to fourth sergeant October 4, 18G2; discharged June IG, 

James ()T>leness, first corpoi-al, August 1; pronniled to 
third sergeant; killed at Milliken's Bend June 7, 18G3. 

H. Spotts, second corjMtral, August 1. 

Jeremiah D. Williams, third corporal, August 7; dis- 
charged February 25, 18G3. 

Austin Warnick, fourth corjioral, August 7; wounded 
at Milliken's Bend Jun<' 7, 18G3. 

Iiol)ert H(.)war(l, fifth corporal, .Vugust 'J. 

Joseph ^\^ Lasell, sixth coi'])oral ^Vugust (!; reduced to 
i-anks September 2!), 1SG2. 

Eupiirates Tuthill, seventh corporal August 9; promoted 
to sixth corporal Seiitend)er 2!l, 18G2. 

Benjamin P. West, eightli corjioral August 1; prcuuoled 
to seventh c(jrporal Sei»tend)er 2!), 1SG2; died at Patterson, 
Mo., November 25, 18G2. 

James P. Orawsliaw, musician, August 1; promoted to 
fife-major S(-pteniber P.), 1SG2. 



Angeli), Samuel IT., August .9 

I'lill, Jdliii T., August 7; died at Vau Buveu H<>s])ital, 
Louisiaiui, Juue 14, 1S()3. 

Itull, A'S'illiam, August 9; wouuded at Black Kiver 
Bridge, Mississip])i, May 17, 18()3; died of Avouuds at 
Memphis Juue 21, 1S(!3. 

Bird, Em])soii, August 9; discharged April 14, ISfJS. 

Butler, AMUiani B., August 9; promoted to tiftli ser- 
geant October 4, lS(i2; discharged Jauuary 2, ISlio. 

Butler, Cliarles A., August 9; wouiuled at Black Ri^'er 
Bi'idge, Mississippi, Mar 17, 18(33. 

Birch, Francis A., August 1; ti-ansferred to invalid 

Belts, Sliepherd W., August 9; distdiarged March (>, 1803. 

Brown, Joy P., August 9; discharged May (!, 18(>3. 

Baile.y, (^uary, August 9. 

Brown, John, August 9; died at St. Louis February 25, 

Cliristy, A\'illiam, August 1. 

Crystal, John, August 1; discharged July 24, 1805. 

Conison, Lemuel M. (Carlson), August !); wounded at 
Black River Bridge May 17, 1803; died of wounds May 20, 

Calial, James H., August 7. 

Collins, Elisha, August 9; discharged Mandi 0, 1803. 

Collins, Hiram, August 9. 

Campbell, Frederick, T., August 9. 

Couch, William S., August 9. 

Dewey, Robert II., August 9; promoted to commissary- 
sergeant September 19. 

Deaton, James R. (K.), August 7; discharged March 23, 


Dean, William M., August 9. 

Dean, James H., August 9. 

Darling, Porter N., August 9; died at New Orleans 
November 14, 1863. 

Evans, William M., August 7; wounded at Black River 
Bridge May 17, 1863. 

Frederick, Corwin B., August 9. 

Ganett, Lyle A., August 9. 

Gregory, William, August 6. 

Howard, Francis A., August 7; discharged June 16, 

Huggins, David, August 1. 

Harvey, William, August 3 ; killed at Black River Bridge 
May 17, 1863. 

Halterman, Jackson, August 9; discharged January 9, 

Harrison, John J., August 1. 

Howard, W. H., August 9; wounded at Black River 
Bridge May 17, 1863. 

Juvenall, John M., August 9; died at Patterson, Mo., 
November 25, 1862. 

Jones, Charles L., August 9. 

Leonard, Newton, G., August 9. 

Little, John S., August 9. 

Laughlin, Robert, August 9; discharged November 17, 

Lang, Lewis, August 5. 

McDowell, Michael (McDonnell), August 9; discharged 
January 31, 1863. 

Miller, John L., August 1; discharged April 14, 1863. 

Mattern, William H., August 9. 

Nelson, David, August 9; died at St. Louis February 25, 


Owens, Henry, Angnst 8; discharged April 1, 1865. 

Pricer, William, August 1. 

Ramsey, Martin K., August 7. 

Robinson, Hubert S., August 1; (reported also Stewart 
S. Robinson as wounded at Black River Bridge May 17, 

Robinson, Smith C, August 9; died at Ironton, Mo., 
December 2, 1862. 

Rison, Bailey, August 7; transferred to invalid corps 
July 1, 1864 

Stuart, Bazil, August 9. 

Stuart, John W., August 9; promoted to eighth corporal 
September 29, 1862; to seventh corporal November 25, 
1862; wounded at Black River Bridge M:ay 17, 1863. 

Smith, Hardin, August 1. 

Sherill, John W. August 1. 

Sherill, Elisha C, August 1; died near Sayloiwille, 
March 27, 1865. 

Sherill, William H., August 1. 

Stark, Benjamin P., August 9. 

Swift, Jeremiah, August 9; wounded at Black River 
Bridge May 17, 1863. 

Scarbrough, James, August 9; wounded at Black River 
Bridge May 17, 1863; died at Memphis July 11, 1863, of 

Stockdale, Richmond, August 7; transferred to invalid 

Saylor, John Q. A., August 1; discharged February 28, 

Shirts, Roscius, August 6. 

Taft, Joel, August 7. 

Thrailkill, Joseph, August 9; discharged January 26, 


Vice, IToni'T, August 9; died at A'ii-ksburg July 28, 1853. 

West, b>ainue] X., August 1. 

West, Ilenrv ('., August 1; died at Yirksburg August 5, 

A^'itnier, George M'., August 1. 

^^'ebb, Jehu a., August 1; killed at I'oit Gibsi.u May 1, 

Webb, James K., August 7. 

AValsb, Thomas, August U. 

AMlcox James K., August 1); wouuded at IMack Ifiver 
Bridge May 17, lS(i3. 

^^'oodro^v, William 11., August U; A^'ouude<l at Blaek 
River Bridge May 17, 18G3. 

"SMlcox, (iilbert, August 5. 

Yocum, John, August 7; died ou floating hospital at 
Nashville, Teuii., July 20, 18(;3. 


Ballard, Jauies, March 1(1, 1864. 

Deatou, James K., March 14, 18(;-l:. 

Dailey, Lewis N., March 29, 18(i4:; died at Mcksburg 
July 28, 1804. 

Eulield, Samuel, March 14, 18(.)4; died ou steamboat Kate 
Dale, July 14, 18(;4. 

Grossnicdvle, Jonathan, May 14, 1804. 

Howard, Francis A., Mar<'h 12, 1804. 

Jlouard, Mariou L., March 10, 1804. 

Hewitt, Franklin E., December 4, 18()3. 

Jones, Albert M., March 29, 1804. 

McGormick, Charles, March 19, 1804; discharged 
November 10, 1804. 

McMichael, James M., March 29, 1804. 

rhilli].s, ("lark ('., March 21, 1804. 

A\'iight, John W., March 12, 1804. 



A^'i]liam E. Ilonstnii, second ]i(-utenaiit, July 25; pi'o- 
iiiolcd td first ]i«^uteiiaiit Xoveinbci' 11, 1SG2; to captain 
April (i, 18G5. 

^Mlliaiu Men-ill, second lieutenant, AuL;ust 12, from 
sergeant-major; promoted to quartermaster July 25, 1863. 

Tlnniias J. Saylor, fourth seri^eant, August 1. 

Kobert II. Fink, fifth sergeant, August 1; killed at Mil- 
liken "s Uend, La., Jnm- 7, 18(i3. 

A'incent S. Martin, fourth corporal, August 12; pro- 
moted to third corporal, September 8, 1802. 

Joiin M. IJoKcuicrants, sixth corporal, August 12; pro- 
moted to fifth cori)oral Sc^ptember 8, 1802; died in St. Louis 
July 11, 18(13. 

William Wilson, eighth c(.>rporal, July 18; prc.imoted to 
scn^enth corporal September 8, 1802; killed at Milliken's 
FSend June 7, 1803. 

David S. Mc(juiston, musician, August 1. 


Asliworth, Abraham, August 13. 

Belts, Matliijis, August 11; discharged February 7, 

Eetts, James W., August 12; transferred to marine 
brigade January 1, 18(i3; died at Keokuk September 1, 

P>nzick, William C, August 12. 

Cottle, Elias, August 1; wounded at Spanish Fort, 
Alabanui, March 28, 1805. 

</raig, Alexander, August 13; wounded at Port Gibson, 
Mississippi, May 1, 18(i3. 

Fink, W. W., August 11. 

*EQlistied in lS(i2, unless otherwise stated. 


Jameson, John D., August 16; died at Eolla, Mo., Janu- 
ary 29, 1863. 

Kees, Thomas, August 14. 

Moore, John W., August 15. 

Pearson, John W., August 12. 

Porter, John, August 12; wounded at Milliken's Bend 
June 7, 18G3; transferred to invalid corps September 1, 

Sundaj', William, August 14; died at Camp Patterson, 
Mo,. December 22, 1863. 

Springer, Jacob S., August 15; killed at Milliken's Bend 
June 7, 1863. 

Sutton, Aguiller, August 9. 

Stanhope, Luther W., August 12; killed at Milliken's 
Bend June 7, 1863. 

Woodward, William H., August 14. 


John M. Pollock, musician, August 22; died at Ironton, 
Missouri, January 3, 1863. 


John Eoss, second sergeant. 

Cowgill, Gustavas V., died at Des Moines, December 2, 

Forbes, Francis H., discharged October 13, 1863. 

Fox, George W., died at Ironton, Missouri, March 26, 

Gila 3', George C, discharged April 5, 1863. 

Hammer, Eichard, died at Memphis September 6, 1863. 

Hayes, James (K. P.). 

Smith, John E. 

♦Enlisted in 1862, unless otherwise stated. 


Coiy, Benjamin C, February 15, 1804; transferred to 
Twenty-ninth infantry. 

Hudson, Thomas J., died at New Orleans September 1, 


Barker, William B., August 20; wounded at Black River 
Bridge May 18, 1863. 

Derrickson, Charles W., January 4, 1864. 

Hewitt, Franklin E., December 14, 1863. 

Huston, Zachary T., January 4, 1864. 

Haines, Jonathan C, January 4, 1864. 

Myers, Asahel W., August 1, 1863. 

Hopkins, John, March 12, 1864; companj- unknown. 

Hudson, Lewis, February 6, 1864; company unknown. 

Otteson, John, February 6, 1864; company unknown. 

Taylor, John Q. A., October 15, 1864; company unknown. 


This was the second of the two regiments organized at 
Des Moines. This was in September, 1862, and in October 
the regiment was moved to Davenport for equipments, etc. 
On November 24 it was mustered into the United States 
service. While there the regiment had an epidemic of 
measles, and before the sick were fully well the regiment 
was, December 13, ordered to report to General Tuttle at 
Cairo. It disembarked at Columbus and spent its first 
night in the field in mud and rain. December 18 it was 
started to Corinth, where Forrest was menacing the forces 
of General Dodge. In this section it had some hard 
marches, and while near Trenton, about one hundred of 
the regiment were surrounded and captured by the enemy 

*EnlistecI in 1862, unless otherwise stated. 


under Forrest. These were excliaiiged iu about a month 
aftenvards. On December 31 a fierce and bloody fight was 
had with Forrest's men, which histed some six hours. The 
Tliirty-ninth, tliough raw troops, for two hours brayel}^ 
Avitlistood and repulsed the enemy, winning the praise of 
veteran soldiers, when by a mistaken order they were 
thi'own into confusion and retired, but were afterward 
reformed and again bravely engaged in the battle. After 
tins successful fight the regiment returned to Jackson. In 
January, 18G3, the regiment was sent to ('orinth, wliere it 
was assigned to the second briga<le, and during nearly the 
wliole of the year was on garrison duty iu this section, with 
occasional marches guarding trains. 

November 2, General Dodge moved his forces to Pulaski, 
Tennessee, and finally to Dalton to join Sherman's army in 
the Atlanta campaign. It was then stationed with other 
regiments at Rome to guard Sherman's flank end line of 
communications. October 4, 18G4, was fought the terrible 
battle of Allatoona, in Avhich the Thirty-ninth won for 
itself imperishable fame. It was seven thousand rebels 
against some eighteen hundred union soldiers. The r(4)els 
charged with massed forces and the Thirty-ninth met the 
enemy where their charge was the lieaviest. Twice the 
Thirty-ninth repelled their fierce charges and stood firm 
and undaunted, though suffering terribly. They nobly 
"held the fort,'' and when it did fall back it was delibi'r- 
ately done, step by step, and continuously fighting. Fir. 
ally the victory was avou, but the regiment lost in the fight : 
Kill(^il, 5 officers, incbuling ('olonel Kedfiehl and Captain 
Blodgett, of Des Moines, and 27 enlisted men; wounded, 1 
offifer and Gl enlisted men; prisoners, 2 officers and GS 
eidisted men. The regiment had won its right to rank high 
among b>wa regiments, and sustained this rank through 


the march to the sea and imtil its final mnstev out of the 

Polk comity was represented in Companies B, E, F, I 
and K, and on the statf by: 

Joseph M. Griffith, of Des Moines, major, commissioned 
!-!epteniber Ki, 1861; wounded at Parker's Cross Roads De- 
cember 31, 18(!2; promoted to lieutenant colonel October 6, 
18G4; to colonel May 12, 1805; mustere<l out as lieuteuaut 

George C. Tichenor, of Des Moines, adjutant; commis- 
sioned iSeptember 15, 1802; jjromoted to major and aid-de- 
camp to General Dodge, February 2, 18G5. 


Jolm IT. Dykeman, captain, August G; resigned August 
G, 18(11. 

Andrew T. Blodgett, hrst lieutenant, August G; pro- 
moted to captain, August 7, 18(il. 

William A. Patterson, second lieutenant August 7; 
resigned July 19, ISGl.. 

F. 1>. Ken worthy, second sergeant, August 17. 

Elisha F. Russell, third sergeant; captured at iShadj' 
Grove, Tennessee, December 30, 18G2. 

Franklin R. Thurber, fourth sergeant, August 15; pro- 
moted to first lieutenant January 1, 18(i5. 

Robert F. Ward, fifth sergeant, August 12; wounded at 
Calhoun, Georgia, May 10, 18G1; died of Avounds at Resaca 
May 18, 18G1. 

Thomas J. Kinnej^, first corporal, August 12; captured 
at Allatoona, Georgia, October 5, 1804. 

Joseph Gifford, third corporal, August 12; captured at 
Shady Grove, Tennessee, December 30, 1802. 

*Enlistecl in 18(32. unless otherwise stated 


Alanson Harrison, fourth corporal, August 15; dis- 
charged June 2, 1863. 

George M. McClure, fifth corporal, August 15. 

Cyrus Cave, seventh corporal, August 12. 

William B. Harr, musician, August 12. 

Edwin C. Russell, musician, August 15. 

Harry' Williams, wagoner, August 8; discharged Decem- 
ber 12, 1863. 


Armstrong, Samuel, August 15. 

Baker, William J., August 12; captured at Shady Grove 
December 30, 1862; wounded at Resaca, Georgia, May 16, 

Bates,01iver D., August 22. 

Brown, Zachariah A., July 25. 

Bunce (Banco), James E., August 12; discharged June 5, 

Barnes, Owen, August 12. 

Case, Isaac, August 14. 

Carder, Frederick, August 12; wounded at Allatoona, 
Georgia, October 5, 1864. 

Cefley, Andrew, August 22; died at Chattanooga June 
27, 1864. 

Coffey, William G., August 17. 

Coffej^, George A., August 12; captured at Shady Grove 
December 30, 1862. 

Chamberlain, William H., August 11; wounded at Park- 
er's Cross Roads December 31, 1862; died at Jackson Janu- 
ary 9, 1863, of wounds. 

Crandall, Caleb, August 12; captured at Shady Grove 
December 30, 1862; discharged February 28, 1S63. 

Daily, Patrick, August 12. 

Elliott, Henry H., August 5; captured at Shady Grove 


December 30, 1862; wounded at Calhoun, Georgia, May, 
16, 1864; died at Chattanooga June 3, 1864, of wounds. 

Gaddis, Cornelius B., August 12; discharged May 11, 

Groom, A. S. R., August 12. 

Harrison, Hudson, August 12; died at Corinth, Missis- 
sippi, February 12, 1863. 

Hendricks, S. D., August 15. 

Holbrook, Carlisle D., August 15; captured at Shady 
Grove December 30, 1862; discharged November 5, 1863. 

Holcombe, Jacob, August 15; captured at Allatoona, 
Georgia, October 5, 1864. 

Holcombe, Asher W., August 14; captured at Red 
Mound, Tenn., December 31, 1862. 

Hoover, Henry S., August 12; discharged February 23, 

Hurd, William P., August 12; captui'ed at Allatoona 
October 5, 1864. 

Jessup, Byron, August 6; captured at Shady Grove De- 
cember 30, 1862. 

Johnson, John W., August 20. 

Johnson, Benj. (T.) F., August 11; discharged February 
19, 1863. 

Keeney, John W., August 12. 

Keeney, Joseph W., August 12; captured at Shady Grove 
December 30, 1862. 

Keeney, Daniel T., August 12; killed at Calhoun, Ga., 
May 16, 1864. 

Kulpin, Wilson (also Kemplin), August 15. 

Krewson, Amos, August 12; captured at Shady Grove 
December 30, 1862. 

Licking-teller, Jonathan, August 21. 

Love, William, August 11. 



Manbeck, Henry, August 12; captured at Shady Grove 
December 30, 18G2; wounded at Allatoona, Georgia, Octo- 
ber 5, 1SG4. 

Manbeck, Elijah, August 12; captured at Shadj^ Grove 
December 30, 18C2. 

Markham, Simon, August 12. 

Mills, James W., August 12; captured at Shady Grove 
December 30, 1862. 

Mills, John E., August 13; captured at Shady Grove 
December 30, 1862; wounded at Allatoona October 5, 1864; 
died at Nashville January 12, 1865. 

Eush, William D., August 22. 

Simmons, Amos, August 14. 

Simmons, Nicholas W., August 22; died at Corinth Feb- 
ruary 8, 1863. 

Starkey, Marion B., August 14; captured at Shady Grove 
December 30, 1862. 

Sullivan, James O., August 12. 

Taylor, Henry, August 12. 

Taylor, Thomas O., August 12; died at Jackson Tennes- 
see, March 14, 1863. 

Vannamon, William J., August 11. 

Warren, Henry F., August 14. 

Wheaton, Jeremiah S., August 14 ; discharged November 
1, 1863. 

Wright, Thomas, August 12. 


Dutton, Charles A., January 4. 

Laporte, Thomas C, January 2; wounded, date and place 
unknown ; died March 6, 1865, in New York harbor. 
Norton, Daniel D., January 4. 

*Enllstecl in 1864. 


Whitecrof t, John, January 2. 
Watson, Charles A. B., January 2. 


John C. Preston, musician, August 22 ; reduced to ranks ; 
captured at Shady Grove December 30, 1862; captured at 
Allatoona October 5, 1864.. 

William Anderson, musician, August 2; reduced to 
ranks; captured at Allatoona October 5, 1864. 

Emng, DeWilton M., August 22. 

Morgan, Thomas, August 22. 

Smith, Richard, August 21; captured at Shady Grove 
December 30, 1862. 

Cole, Charles J., August 22. 


Hutson, John W., December 28, 1863. 
Maulsby, Levi B., August 31, 1864; wounded at Alla- 
toona October 5, 1864. 


Brooks, James F., enlisted August 17. 


Augustus Yerger, first lieutenant, August 22; promoted 
to captain January 1, 1863 ; resigned November 11, 1864. 

Robert C. Hunter, second lieutenant, August 16; pro- 
moted to first lieutenant January 1, 1863. 

John Finan, first sergeant, August 15 ; captured at Par- 
ker's Cross Roads, December 30, 1862. 

William L. Keaggy, second sergeant, August 13; cap- 
tured at Parker's Cross Roads December 30, 1862. 

*Enlisted in 1864. 
**Enlisted in 1862, unless otherwise stated. 


John Sliauly, third sergeant, August 22. 

Palestine Jones, fifth sergeant, August 9. 

Charles Leftwick, first corporal, August 12; wounded 
at Allatoona October 5, 1864. 

William McQueen, second corporal, August IG. 

Sireno S. Farrington, third corporal, August 15. 

Erastus Scott, fourth corporal, August 22. 

Andrew J. Melvin, fifth corporal, August 11; discharged 
August 22, 1S63. 

Thomas R. Leonard, sixth cfirporal, August (>; dis- 
charged February 23, 1861. 

Elias Holladay, seventh corporal, August 13; dis- 
charged September 20, 1863. 

Andrew J. Wilder, eighth corporal, August 22. 

Thomas II. Nichols, musician, August 22; captured at 
Parker's Cross Roads December 31, 1862; discharged May 
21, 1863. 

David Edwards, wagoner, August 22. 


Admonson (Adamson), Joshua, August 22; killed at 
Atlanta October 5, 1864. 

Adair, Joseph, August 15. 

BoatM'right, Daniel B., August 12; discharged Decem- 
ber 8, 1864. 

Bragord, Richard T., August 22. 

Bowles, John, August 14. > 

Bowles, Joseph, August 22. , , 

Clark, Tally, August 22. 

Cole, Samuel D., August 22; captured at Allatoona, 
Georgia, October 5, 1864. 

Eckhart, Lewis C, August 14; captured at Parker's 
Cross Roads December 30, 1862. 

Edmondson, Henrv, August 4. 


Fenwick, William A., August 15. 

Foster, John, August 22; captured at Parker's Cross 
Roads December 30, 1862. 

Foster, George W., August 12; captured at Parker's 
Cross Eoads December 30, 1862; discharged May 12, 1863. 

Green, Luther T., August 16; discharged September 
20, 1863. 

Johnson, George, August 22. 

Leonard, James G., August 6; died at Corinth February 
2, 1863. 

Lee, John N., August 1.5. 

Lewis, James, August 14. 

Miller, IsaaC, August 8; died at Benton Barracks, Mis- 
souri, December 11, 1863. 

Myers, Isaac, August 12; captured .at Parker's Cross 
Roads December 30, 1862. 

Myers, Andrew J., August 12. 

McBee, Charles M., August 22. 

McBee, James H., August 22. 

Morris, Perry, August 7. 

Morris, John, August 8. 

Martin, James, August 22; captured at Parker's Cross 
Roads December 30, 1862. 

Perry, John, August 15; discharged January 21, 1863. 

Runyan, Charles F., August 12. 

Runyan, John E., August 12. ' 

Runyan, Orison J., August 12. 

Sharp, William, August 12; wounded at Allatoona 
October 5, 1864; died of wounds at Rome, Georgia, Octo- 
ber 26, 1864. 

Smith, Eli, August 15. ' 

Smith, Joseph, August 13; wounded at Allatoona Octo- 
ber 5, 1864. 

Sanford, William B., August 22. 


Sanford, George A., August 12. 
Sumter, Bluford, August 12. 
Teesdale, Benjamin, August 22. 
Turner, Parmenas, August 15. 

Warren, Alfred, August 15; captured at Parker's Cross 
Koads December 30, 1862. 

Wicker, Samuel, August 15. . 

Williams, Jacob J., August 6. 
Wallace, David S., August 7. 
Wallace, George W., August 13. 


Ball, Aaron, August 22; died at Davenport November 
9, 1862. 

Bradford, Isaac V., January 25, 1864; captured at Alla- 
toona October 5, 1864. 


Burdan, Alfred, August 20. 

Treel, Charles, September 10. ... 

Kennedy, Thomas J., August 4. 

*Grimes, Nathaniel, September 12, 1864. 

*Hendricks, Martin B., February 29, 1864. 

*Howell, Jesse, October 17, 1864. 

*Hays, Jacob E., May 3, 1864. 

*Leftwick, Cornelius B., March 21, 1864. . 

*McCurdo, Alfred, May 3, 1864. 

*Woldrige, James A., September 15, 1864. 


This regiment w^as organized under a proclamation of 
the President, April 21, 1864, calling for 100,000 men to 

**Enlisted in 1862, unless otherwise stated. ' 

'Company unknown. 


serve for one hundred days in fortifications, or wherever 
their service might be required. This was to relieve the 
veteran troops so they might all be sent to the front. The 
Governor of Iowa called for 10,000 men to enlist under 
the call, and it was promptly responded to. Polk county 
was especially promjit and active and was largely repre- 
sented in the Forty-fourth, Forty-seventh, and Forty- 
eighth regiments, raised under this call. The Forty- 
fourth was mustered July 13, 1864, and mustered out the 
following October 21. Polk county was represented on 
the staff by: 

Josiah Hopkins, major; Lucius Boudinot, hospital 
steward; William Merrill, principal musician. 


Josiah Hopkins, captain; promoted to major June 1. 

William Van Dorn, second lieutenant; promoted to first 
lieutenant, June 1, 1864. 

William H. Minnick, third sergeant. 

Thomas J. Pierce, fifth sergeant; promoted to first ser- 
geant June 3, 1864. 

Elijah L. Pierce, second corporal; promoted to first .cor- 
poral June 10, 1864. 

Adoniram J. Beals, third corporal; promoted to second 
corporal June 10, 1864. 

Emery Merrill, musician. 

William Merrill, musician; promoted to principal 
musician June 1, 1864. 


Burt, George W. 
Braunt, Horatio. 
Bishop, John E. 

*Enlisted May 11. 


Baker, Elisha, 

Brooks, James E. T. 

Baker, Francis M. 

Beason, Albert. 

Curl, George. 

Casebier, Elijah. 

Dickej^ James A. 

Erlick, Samuel S. 

Filmer, Edward. 

Grant, George W. 

Hopkins, Silas W. 

Hopkins, Robert. 

Highland, John W. 

Kenaston, James A., promoted to eighth cori^oral July 
10, 1864. 

Moore, William R. 

Merrill, Emery. 

Pierce, William B. 

Rutgers, Reuben R. 

Richards, Jonathan. 

Ruttgers, Peter M. 

Ruttgers, John H., died at Davenport September 15, 

Stephens, Charles. 

Shewey, James M. . ' ■ 

Wheelhouse, John N. 


This regiment was one of the ten tendered by the Gov- 
ernment to the War Department, under the call for 
85,000 men, for aid to General Sherman in his campaign 
of 1S64. The offer was accepted, and at the close of the 
term of 100 days, President Lincoln, in a special manner. 


returned thanks to the regiment for the eiScient service 
rendered in the brilliant victories over Hood and Johnston 
in Georgia. The regiment was mustered into the United 
States service June 4, 1864. 

Polk county was represented in Companies A, F, II 
and I. 

Laudaker, Josephus, enlisted May 24, 1864. 


David J. Pattee, captain. 

Welden England, first lieutenant. 

Josiah M. Vale, second lieutenant. 

Edward A. Lewis, first sergeant. 

Samuel S. Etheridge, second sergeant. 

Hiram Smith, third sergeant. 

Lionel Foster, fourth sergeant. 

(Jharles F. Whitney, first corporal. 

William H. Turner, second corporal. 

Ripley N. Baylies, third corporal. , , 

Leander Bolton, fifth corporal. 

Horace B. Baker, sixth corporal. 

Charles T. P. Bass, seventh corporal. 

Alvin J. McCrary, eighth corporaL 

Welcome C. Geer, musician. 


Barlow, James M. 
Blair, John G. 
Blodgett, Charles W. 
Bolton, Homer. 
Bolton, Lewis E. 

"Mustered in June 4, 186i. 


Brooks, Benjamin A. ■ ■ 

Brown, Leonard. " 

Bryan, Samuel H. • ' ' 

Chenoweth, Simon M. ■ ■ 

Couch, Joseplius. 

Crow, Edward. \ 

Crow, William M. 

Dailej', James J. 

Day, Edwin W. . '< \ 

Evans, Ira T. 

Fagan, Ezra B. 

Flemming, Edwin S. 

Frazier, George S. 

Gaston, William H. 

Hague, Joseph. 

Holliday, Solomon B. 

Hunter, David J. 

Hyland, Edmund. 

Jeffries, Charles W. 

Johnson, Arthur W. 

Jones, George W. 

Jones, James W. 

Kimmons, John. 

Koozer, Daniel. 

Little, George M. 

Martin, David. 

Mattern, Miles D., died at Helena August 27, 1864. 

Mitchell, Henry S. 

Mitchell, Wm. B. 

Mott, David B. 

Morgan, Frank P. 

McCain, George D. 

McConnell, Benjamin I. 

McConnell, Oscar. . , 


McDonald, Michael. 

McCurdj^, John L., died at Helena, Arkansas, August 1, 

McDowell, John B. 

Nicholas, John W. 

Peet, Edward W. . . , ■ 

Peet, Henry J. 

Eollins, Millard F., died at Helena, Arkansas, July 16, 

Eobinson, Lorenzo L. 

Kutherford, John. . 

Sampson, William C. , , . , 

Scarbrough, Martin. .. 

Shaw, Thomas. 

Sleckman, John. 

Smith, William H. M. 

Smith, William H. 

Smith, Scott. 

Stone, George T. • 

Tarbell, Edward. 

Ward, Y/illiam H. 

Weeks, A. W. C. ... .... ; 

Wilshirt, John. . 

Wright, Michael. 


McCarthy, Felix, enlisted May 16, 1864. '■ 


Low, Madison, enlisted August 23. 
Mason, Oscar B., enlisted August 23. 
Stone, George, enlisted August 24. 



Polk County was represented in this one-hundred-day 
regiment as follows: . 

Cunningham, William H. H., fifth sergeant; enlisted 
June 10, 1864, Company B. 

Devin, George, enlisted Company B, June 20, 1864. 

McCrady, William L., sixth corporal; promoted to fifth 
corporal; re-enlisted September 5, 1864. 


The following is a list of the Polk County men who 
served in other regiments, but in which there were not a 
separate company from the county. This list is no doubt 
imperfect and incomplete, and does not include all the 
Polk County men who singly or in small parties joined 
other Iowa regiments. It is also known that not a few 
residents. of the city and county enlisted in regiments 
from other states and also in the regular army. Here, 
however, are gathered all the names obtainable after 
much research: 


Brooks, McKenny, Company B, enlisted Apr'l 18, 1861. 


Woods, John S., Company E, enlisted May 2±, 1861; 
Avounded at'Shiloh April 6, 1862; died of "wounds A^jril 9, 

Draper, Martin V. B., Company E, enlisted -June 1, 1861. 

McCready, Wm. L., enlisted July 1, 1861; discharged 
^September 14, 1861. 


Evans, Joseph Bedford, company F; killed at Belmont 
November 7, 1861. 

Gregg, Hayden A., company C, enlisted November, 1861. 


. , , EIGHTH. 

Griffith, Albert L., company C, enlisted January 21, 

Metcalf, Elisha X., pri^^ate, company D, enlisted March 
21, 1865. 

Wilkinson, Edward C, priyate, company H, enlisted Jan- 
uary 27, 1865. 


Lindsley, Robert, company E; died of disease at Macon,. 
Georgia, August 22, 1862. 

McGarraugh, Joseph D., enlisted September 28, 1861, 
company E; captured at Shiloh April 6, 1862; discharged 
Noyember, 1861. 

McGarraugh, John T., enlisted September 28, 1861, com- 
pan.y E. 

Milton, John L., enlisted September 28, 1861, company 
E; died September 19, 1862, at Mound City, Illinois. 

Woodward, Robert, company E, enlisted August 5, 1861^ 
died June 12, 1863, at St. Louis, of disease. 

Rutherford, James W., enlisted September 28, 1861, 
company E. 

Van Horn, Phineas, enlisted October 10, 1861, company 

Edwards, Charles, enlisted December 1, 1863, company 


Elias Modlin, company K, enlisted August 22, 1862; pro- 
moted to third corporal January 23, 1863; killed at Pleas- 
ant Hill, Louisiana, April 9, 1861. 

Isaac N. Alderman, company K, enlisted August 22,, 
1862; promoted to eighth corporal January 23, 1863;, 


wounded and captured at Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, April 
9, 1864; discharged June 21, 1865. 

Luellen, Francis, private, company K, enlisted August 
15, 1862; wounded and captured at Pleasant Hill April 9, 
1864; died of wounds April 22, 1864. 

Pearson, Nathan H., private, company K, enlisted Aug- 
ust 22, 1862. 

Pearson, Samuel H., private, company K, enlisted Aug- 
ust 22, 1862; captured at Pleasant Hill April 9, 1864. 


Charles H. vSharman, companj^ G, enlisted September 4, 
1862, fifth sergeant; promoted to second lieutenant Febru- 
ary 25, 1863; wounded at Helena July 4, 1863; promoted to 
first lieutenant June 19, 1864; to adjutant January 6, 1865. 


John S. Davis, private, company D, enlisted August 13, 
1862; promoted to hospital steward October 15, 1862; died 
at Chicago January 11, 1863. 

Herrin, Thomas, private, company H, enlisted August 
19, 1862. 


Stevens, Ed. J. M., company B, enlisted November 1, 


John W. Clifton, fifth sergeant, company D, August 19. 

Peter Calahan, first corporal, company D, August 19; 
died at Helena April 10, 1864. 

James Saylor, second corporal, company D, August 19. 

Gabriel Eobinson, sixth corporal, company D, August 
22; died at Keokuk November 10, 1863. 

*Enlisted in 1863, unless otherwise stated. 


William Newburn, musician, company D, August 2G. 

Wilford Arnold, company D, August 19; died at Helena 
July 23, 1SG4. 

Washington Bell, company D, August 24; died at Benton 
Barracks March 3, 1864. 

John Bell, company D, August 24. 

Eobert Beverly, company D, August 24. 

Oscar Blue, company D, August 20. 

William Clay, company D, August 20. 

Frederick Douglass, company D, August 21; died at 
Helena, Arkansas, January 13, 1865. 

Solomon Holmes, company D, August 24. 

William R. Key, company D, August 26. 

Alfred Pratt, company D, August 20; died at Helena 
January 11, 1865. 

Walter White, company D, August 20. 

William R. ey, first sergeant, company I, October 9. 

Charles Richardson, company I, October 2. 

James Brown, January 9, 1865; company unknown. 

Lilburn Walden, March 4, 1865 ; company unknown. 


Adoneram J. Merritt, captain company K, Missouri engi- 
neer regiment of the West, enlisted September 17, 1861. 

George E. Spencer, Twenty-first regiment; killed at 
Mobile April 9, 1865. 

Oliver P. Brown, company E, Twenty-fifth regiment, 
enlisted February 17, 1862. 


Lyon, H. H., Second Colorado; promoted to first lieuten- 
ant; discharged at cdose of war. 

Lyon, Jonathan, Second Nebraska; sergeant; discharged 
at close of war. . , 


McClaiu, William A., company G, Second Nebraska ; died 
from exposure. 


Vt'arv, William, enlisted October 11, 18G1; discharged 
August 9, 1862. 

Keeves, Elza A., enlisted September 5, 1864. 


Charles Graham, enlisted December 20, 1861; joined 
from company G; promoted to battalion saddler's ser- 
geaiii .^prin,2, 1862 


Charles Graham,private; enlisted December 20, 1861; 
transferred to company C February 21, 1862. 


William Henry Sells,first lieutenant; enlisted Novem- 
ber 19, 1861; promoted to paymaster United States na's^'^ 
January 9, 1862. 


This regiment was organized at Davenport in the early 
spring of 1863, and six companies of it were sent to the 
west to protect the settlers of Nebraska, Minnesota and the 
Dakotas from the Indians, who at that time were hostile 
and threatening. Their first experience in the field was a 
march across the state of Iowa from Davenport to Omaha, 
Nebraska, and from the latter place they were sent to vari- 
ous parts in that then territoiy. In September the two 
remaining comjjanies were sent to Omaha, and from that 
time the entire service of the regiment was spent upon the 
frontier, at diflerent places in that then vast stretch of 
country, then almost uninhabited by whites, west of the 


Missouri Kiver aud extending to the Rocky Mfinntains. 
There they were occupied in keeping the Indians in clieck, 
sometimes flghtiug and chasing them and performing most 
arduous duties. The regiment was scatttered in detach- 
ments, which took part in nearly every Indian ex])edition 
from IS()3 to the fall of 18(15, and fought in the battles of 
White fiUmc Hill, Tahkahokutah, Lands, Little Blue, 
•Inlesbnrg, ^lud Springs an<l IJush Creek. I*(dk County 
^Yas r(^pr(\s(^nted in companies A, D, E and ('. Companies 
A and C took a tilt with five hundred Cheyenes" on Ijittle 
r>lue Kiver August 12, 18(>4, fighting from 11 o'clock iu the 
morning until 7 o'clock in the evening, with the loss of only 
two men. The distance traveled from the (u-ganization 
to February, 1865, was 5,300 miles. 

Company D was engaged with the Indians on February 
S at Mud Springs, and on the 9th at Rock Springs, Indian 
Territory, losing one man killed and two wounded. June 
11, 18(i5 the company, with a small detachment from A 
and B, in all 135 men, were detailed to escort about 2,000 
Sioux to Julesbnrg, with their familes aud lodges. On the 
morning of the lltli the Indians revolted, and (_'ai)tain 
Fonts was shot and his body stripped and mutikited. The 
Indians finally fled to the hills and bluffs, leaving their 
lodges and loose plunder. 

Part of the regiment remained in active- service after 
their term of enlistment had expired, and received special 
thanks of the department. The regiment was mustered out 
in detachments. It had, in fact, lost its regimental organi- 
zation some time previous, its colonel liaving been mus- 
ter ed out many months before the men were. The casual- 
ties were: Killed, 45; died, 101; discharged, 21<i. 



Delford, Franklin, enlisted February 27, 1863 ; promoted 
to first sergeant; to first lieutenant April 14, 1866; mus- 
tered out as first sergeant. 

Michael, Addison, enlisted February 24, 1863. 


Cliarles Sutton, trumpeter, enlisted March 1. 
Anderson, David L., enlisted March 6. 
Biggs, Amos, enlisted March 1. 
Ball, John W., enlisted March 17. 
Barkenhalaltz, Peter, enlisted April 3. 
Colburn, Dexter B., March 6. 
Craig, Lewis, enlisted March 15. 
Forbes, Wm. B., enlisted March 1. 
Hoagland, Theodore, enlisted March 3. 
Jones, Andrew, enlisted March 4. 
Jones, Benjamin S., enlisted March 4. 
Mslntire, James, enlisted April 18, 1863. 
Porter, Eezin, enlisted April 4. 
Eoper, John E., March 14. 
Sanford, Abraham, April 15. 


Jones, D., enlisted August 5, 1864. 


James M. Houston, sixth sergeant, enlisted March 3; 
promoted to fifth sergeant July 29, 1863. 

Wiliam R. Bradford, second corporal, March 13. 
James White, trumpeter, March 15. 

*Enlisted in 1863, unless otherwise stated. 



Cochran, John C, March 13. 
Cassady, James, April 1. 
Kesler, Jacob, February 21. 
Sprague, James, May 15. 


Stephens, E. J. M., private, enlisted November 12, 1861. 


This regiment was mustered into the United States ser- 
vice September 30, 1863, and before being fully equipped 
with horses and arms was ordered to join Gen. Eosecranz 
at Chattanooga. At Louisville additional equipments 
were supplied, and the regiment proceeded to Tennessee, 
and for some time was engaged in the pursuit, capture or 
dispersion of guerillas and bushwhackers in that state. 
It did some good fighting on several occasions, notably 
at Lost Mountain, Lovejoy's Station and Newman. Start- 
ing from Red Clay and including the Stonenian raid 
around Atlanta, the regiment was under fire every day for 
more than one month. 

The regiment assisted in the pursuit of Gen. Wheeler 
and in driving Gen. Forrest back in his raid in Tennessee 
in the fall of 1864. They were next engaged in the front 
of the rebel. Gen. Hood, in his advance on Nashville, 
and also participated in the battle of Nashville and the 
pursuit of Hood's force out of Tennessee. They then went 
into quarters at Waterloo, Alabama, until March 15, 
when they joined the Wilson raid through Alabama. The 
regiment was mustered out at Macon, Georgia, August 
13, 1865. 

Polk County was represented by Company M, and on 
the staff bv : 

308 ANNAL>< OF I'OLK ('()( WTY 

Owen F. Mitchell, cominaudiuji' serij;e;uit, formerly in 
Oomi:iaiiy I, Tliird U. 8. Cavalry. 


^^'illiaTll 11. Iloxie, captain; formerly cai)tain Company 
P>, Se^'enteentll infantry; wonnded at Newman, (Jeoryia, 
July 30, 1804; dismissed March 11, 1805. 

Henry Moreland, first lientenant; formerly first ser- 
i^eant Company B, Fifteenth Infantry; cajitured at New- 
man, Geori;ia, -Juh' ?,(), ISOl; jiromoted to caiitain March 
12, 180.5. 

James ]{. FIdridge, .second lieutenant, formerly Com- 
panies (t aud H, Ninth Infantry; resii^ned July !», 180-1. 

Eli Keeler, f|uartermaster-sergeant, June 22; from reg 
imental commissary sergeant. 

Frank P. Phel])s, commissary-sergeant, .Tune 1. 

Warren Metcalf, second sergeant; formerly in Company 
H, Eleventh U. S. Infantry. 

Daniel C. I'ishard, fourth sergeant; discharged May 25, 

Thomas O. Strange, sixth sergeant, .Tnne 1; wonndi'd 
and captured at Newman, Georgia, Jnly ;>0, 1S(;1. 

Enoch J. Yount, third cori>oral, August 20; formerly 
in Company K, P^ighth Infantry. 

Aaron Pugh, fourth corporal, July 1 

George B. Leonard, fifth cor]K)ral, June 1; formerly in 
Company (!, Ele^'enth Infantry. 

James II. Miller, sixth cor])oi-al, Jnne 28. 

Thonuis McClelland, seventh cori)oral, Jnly 8; wounih'il 
at Cassville, Georgia, May !), 1804; died May 21, 1804, or 
June 2, of Avoun(Ls at Cassville. 

William W. Derrickson, eighth cor]»oral, July 20. 

Scott Boone, trumpeter, Jnne 24. 

*Enlislr(l in lS(i3, unless o1 licrwisc staled 


James D. Thompson, farrier, August 25. 

James M. Vanscoyne, farrier, June 1; formerlj' in Com- 
pany B, Eleventh Infantry and in na^al service. 

Francis Bradley, Avagoner, August 10; died at Kings- 
ton, Georgia, September 24, 1804. 


Adamson, Samuel, July 15. 

Acres, Nathaniel, August 10. 

Ashley, James W., July 2. 

Alfred, Anderson, July 17. 

Boone, Pinkee, June 24. 

Barkhurst, Geo. W., June 24. 

Berry, George, August 10. 

Calahan, Thomas W., July 8. 

Crosthwait, Thos. P., July 15. 

Oleavinger, Wm., Jul,y 15. 

Chambers, Samuel, July 25. 

Davis, James W., July 8. 

Doran, Geo. W., July 9. 

Elliott, Beujauun, .July 1. 

Foust, Heury, June 25; transferred to Infantry c()r])s, 
Alay 1, 1804. 

Goss, Swinford, July 15. 

Garrett, Cyrus W., July 18. 

Hick, Alfred, July 15. 

Houk, James, Jul3' 7. 

Iludnos, ^Ym. T., June 15; ca])tured at Newman, Geor- 
gia, July 30, 1864. 

Heady, Wni. ■!., July 8; captured at Florence, Tenn- 
essee, December 17, 1804. 

Ilughart, John A., July 15. 

llughart, John B., July 15; died at Louisville, Ken- 
tucky, March 17, 1705. 


Horton, James H., August 20. 

Johnson, Jonathan, July 5. 

Johnson, Iven, July 5. 

Jones, Jacob H., July 15. 

Jones, George W., July 15. 

Krowser, Moses W. (T.), July 1; killed at Macon, Geor- 
gia, April 15, 1865. 

Kelly, John B., July 4; captured near Franklin, Tenn- 
essee; date unknown. 

Knight, James T., August 20; wounded near Cassville, 
Georgia, May 9, 18G4. 

Lee, Marshall, August 10. 

Martin, William, July 15. 

Mountain, Weslej', June 28; Captured at Newman, 
Georgia, July 3, 1864. 

McCall, Thomas H., July 15; captured at Tilton, Geor- 
gia, May 15, 1864; died at Andersonville prison March 17, 

Mattern, Winfleld S., June 20; captured at Newuan, 
Georgia, July 30, 1864. 

Nicholson, William, July 3. 

Newell, Isaiah, July 6. 

Parker, William, June 1. 

Rhoades, John W., July 2; discharged July 10, 1865. 

Robinson, Thomas T., July 3. 

Shellhart, Valentine, July 15. 

Stiles, Geo. W., June 1. 

Stephen, Itharman, July 8. 

Tilton, William B., June 15. 

Train, Francis M., June 20. 

Vanscoyoc, Silas, June 25. 

West, Sumner B., July 20. 

Wilfong, David, June 25. 

Wooten, -Jonathan, June 25. i 

Williams, Joseph W., August 1. 



Polk County had a few men in this regiment, among 
them being Edgar T. Ensign, of Des Moines, who had been 
an original member of Company D, Second Infantry, and 
had greatly distinguished himself at Fort Douelson and 
in other engagements. He was made major of the Eighth 
and won more honors for himself by his military skill and 
unflinching bravery. In this regiment also served Joseph 
W.Haskell, a young man mostly reared in Des Moines. 
He served in the gallant Second Iowa Infantry, and was 
at Fort Donnelson and other battles. Discharged for 
disability, as soon as his health was partly restored he 
enlisted with his friend. Col. Trumbull, in the Ninth. The 
other members of the regiment from Polk County were: 

Edgar T. Ensign, major, from Company D, Second 


Haskell, -Joseph W., enlisted September 23, 1863. 


Eobert Fryon, fifth sergeant; from Company E, Fourth 

David Groves, trumpeter; enlisted October 18, 1863. 


Cooley, George W., enlisted October 8, 1863. 
Owens, Thomas J. 


West, Isaac J., private; enlisted August 16, 1863. 


The First Iowa Battery was organized in August, 1861,, 
and mustered out at Davenport July 1, 1865. Its first 


eiigageinent was at Pea Kidge, March 24, 18(32, where it 
fired the first shot and suffered severelj^ After this bat- 
tle the First Battery was placed under the ccniimaiid of 
Captaiu Henry H. Griffiths, of Des Moines, who had 
entered the service as captain of Company E, Fourtli Iowa 
Infantry. Under his charge the Battery was completely 
reorganized and strengthened, and he soon made it one of 
the very best batteries in the service. It joined in Gen. 
Hovey's unsuccessful attempt to capture Arkansas Post; 
thence, in December, with Gen. Steel's division, took part 
in the fight at Chickasaw Bayou; thence back again to 
Arkansas Post and the final capture of the same. It was 
in the hottest of the fight of Jackson, and was busily 
engaged during the siege of Vicdisburg. After this it 
was sent to Tuscumbin, having a five days fight on the 
Avay at Cherokee Station. Pushed on to Chattanooga on 
the morning of Xovember 25, it opened fire at Lookout 
Mountain and received special commendation for its gal- 
lant work from Gen. Hooker. Here it exchanged its worn 
out guns for new 10-]>ound Parrots. It was througli the 
Atlanta eampaign and its guns Avere heard almost daily. 
Although it was in so many of the hard fougiit battles of 
the war, it never lost a gun nor the least of its equipments 
to the enem}', but its escape Avas several tiuies arcom- 
plished only through the skill and bravery of its com- 
mander and the bold and determined courage of the men 
c-omposing the battery, Avho Avc^re ahvays proud of their 
organization and ready to lay down their lives if need be 
to save their guns and punish the enemy. 

Tlie battery casualties Avere: Killed, 7; died, .">4; dis- 
charged, .■^(i; Avounded, 29. 

I'olk <'ounty Avas rei)resented in this battery as folloAvs: 
Henry II. Gi'ifflths, captain, from Company E, Fourth 
Infantry; mustered out August 17, 1804. 



Skivinki, Edward, September 1, 1861; wounded at Pea 
Kidge Mar-eh 7, 1802. 


Allen, Charles, December IS, 1803; wounded at Yicks- 
bnrg August 18, 18G4. 

Allen, Fletcher, December 18, 18G3. 

Crabtree, George W., January 5. 

Callendar, John D., December 23; killed at Atlanta 
August 23, 18G4. 

Coffeen, Henry, January 4, 18G4. 

Callendar, Wm. H., January 4, 18G4; died at Chatta- 
nooga, Tennessee, July 10, 18G4. 

Crockerham, Joseph F., January 1. 

Dyer, John, January 2, 18G4. 

Elliott, Thomas, January 4, 18(;4; discharged May 9, 

Fox, Franklin, January 4, 1S(;4. 

FeuAvick, James p]., January 4, 18(>4. 

Gregg, James C., December 2G, 1SG3. 

Hawkins, Thomas L., January 3, 18G4. 

Howard, John, January 1, 1S(!4. 

Ilobb, Joshua, December 30, 18G3. 

Henderson, Jam<^s M., January 4, 1SG4. 

Hoake, Hermon C., January 4, 18G4. 

Hyatt, Elmer, December 2.j, 1SG3. 

llainmon, William W., January 5, 18()4. 

Howard, George, January '->, 18G4; died at Woodville, 
Alabama, February 22, 1SG4. 

Johnson, John, January 4, 18(>4; died at Ivome, Georgia, 
August 18, 1804. 

James, Elisha K., January 4, 18G3. 


Jones, Wm. II., January 30, 1863; died at Davenport 
February 18, 1863. 

Kurtz, Gotlieb, January 4, 1864. 

Kirby, Charles, January 4, 1864. 

Kesler, William, January 4. 1864. 

Loughran, Edmond, January 2, 1864. 

Leggett, John W., January 4, 1864. 

Marrs, John W., December 26, 1863; wounded; date and 
place unknown. 

Mack, Talbert t^., December 29, 1863. 

Madison, Bartie M., December 28, 1863. 

McMichael, William, December 23, 1863; killed at At- 
lanta July 20, 1864. 

Myerkoflf, Herman T., December 29, 1863. 

McKelvoge, Hugh, January 4. 

Murphy, James, January 4, 1864. 

Nagle, Webster, December 31, 1863. 

Parker, Madison, January 4, 1864. 

Payne, James P., December 22, 1863. 

Stutsman, Solomon, January 4, 1864. 

Simmonds, Wm. V., December 26, 1863. 

Stemper, William H., January 4, 1864. 

Titus, Selah H., January 2, 1864. 

West, Thomas C, December 23, 1863. 

Thaeker, Fielding T., January 4, 1864. 

Terro, Henry, January 1, 1864. 

Wright, William, December 29, 1803. 

Baker, Lewis P., March 12, 1864. 

Bishard, John F., March 11, 1864. 

Curran, James R., January 26, 1864. 

Cooper, Charles B., March 8, 1864. 

Harmison, Andrew, August 20, 1864. 

Reeder, Pvobert F., March 21, 1864; died at Jefferson- 
Adlle, Indiana, January 22, 1865. 


Scott, Andrew, August 20, 18Gi. 
Young, John, January 26, 18G4. 


Lewis Keynolds, first sergeant ; enlisted August 11. 
John Burke, third corporal, August 1. 
Thomas Foley, artificer, August 1. 


Alderman, Juo. V., enlisted August 1. 

Buttolph, Jno. R., August 1. 

Buttolph, Romulus, August 1; died at St. Louis, De- 
cember 9, 18G1. 

Cluie, Squire G., August 1. 

Davis, Oliver P., August 1; promoted to second corporal 
July 24, 1862. 

Ingraham, Joseph, August 1. 

Phillip, Lewis F., August 1. 

Sunsteim, Wm., August 1; discharged October 16, 1862. 

Stobaugh, Samuel, August 1. 

Whittaker, Deacon J., August 1. 


Bowman, Thomas, enlisted September 5, 1864:. 
Burke, James S., September 5, 1864. 
Campbell, Wilson M., August 14, 1864. 
Coburn, Francis, August 29, 1864. 
Oilman, Milan A., March 21, 1864. 
Groves, Eli, August 29, 1864. 
nines Peter, February 2.5, 1864. 
Jones, James M., March 30, 1864. 

Jones, John, February 19, 1864; died at Davenport 
April 17, 1864. 

Johnson, Joel, Febraury 19, 1864. 


Kiii'tz, Joliii, September 5, 18()4; died at iSelina, Ala- 
bama, July 7, 1S65., II. reter, February 19, 18()4; died at Memphis 
:\rarcli 25, ISCS. 

Heed, Samuel, February 19, HSG4. 

IJeed, William, February 16, 18(U. 

lluus, Audrew J., August 20, 1864. 

Steplieusou, Geo. II., March 30, 1862. 

Simmons, P>aily 11., September 5, 1864. 

P.liler, Franklin F., November 10, 1862. 

Doak, \Ym., October 1, 1862. 

Xelson, James, October 17, 1862. 

Uai-ris, George N., October 2(;, 1862. 

(^'rowe, John F., Sei)tember 25, 1862. 

1 )azey, Charles P. , October 17, 1 862. 

lioberts, Abel W., October 1, 1862. 

Webber, John T., September 20, 1864. 


George P. UausloAV, ('om])auy (}; enlisted August 26, 
1862; discharged November 30, 1864. 

John i>. McClelland, ('om]»any M; enlisted September 1, 
]S(;i; died November 18, 18()2, at St. Louis. 

\\'iiliam McGuire, c<jm])any unknown; enlisted Decem- 
ber 9, 1S(;3. 

('jc^iiieut Pui-sou, Company ]); enlisted Februar\' 4, 1864. 

Jacob KelTer, enlisted Se]iteud»er 20, 1864; comjKUn" un- 

James II. Scroggs, eulist(-d September 24, 1S64; com- 
]>auy unknown. 

Stewart ^ladisou, enlisted Mar(4i 30, 1864; com])auy un- 


James A. Weak, enlisted !>e])teiuber 24, IS^U; cniu- 
pauy 111) known. 


I'uriton, J.evi'is A., (.'(Uiipany I; enlisted December 2(>, 


(larrett, James M., private, ( '()n)])any B; enlisted Xd- 
vember l.", 1802. 

Stickney, (.xaluslia A., i»ri'>al('. Company F; enlisted 
Se])tembeT 15, 18(i2. 

Jones, John ^^'., jirivate, ('om])any II; enlisted OctcdM^- 
2, lS(i2. 

Brady, Edward, i»i-ivate, (Jompauy M; enlisted October 
27, 1S62. 


Edmnnd X. Cni-1, enlisted October 1(1, 1SG2. 


I'cdk Connty may well be prond of her war record. Her 
soldiers were the bravest of the brave, abnndantly evi- 
denced by the rajiidity of promotion. t>hc was r<^i)re- 
sented in tliirty-live regimental organizaticnis ami fnr- 
uislied largely in excess of her quota. The nnniber of 
commissioned officers was as follows: 

lirigadier-genei'als, 3; colonels, 5; li(mteuant-colonels, 
(>; majors, 10; snrgeons, 7; adjntants, (i; qnartermasters, 
2; ca]itains, 10; first lientenants, 5(>; second lieutenants. 


Noah "\\'. Mills, c(donel. Second Infantry . 
Marcellns M. ('roid^er, colonel Seeond Infantry. 


Noe W. Mills, lieutenant-colonel, Second Infantry. 

Marcellus M. Crocker, major, Second Infantry. 

George L. Godfrey, adjutant. Second Infantry. 

Edward L. Marsh, sergeant-major. Second Infantry. 

Samuel H. Lunt, sergeant-major, Second Infantry. 

Jared Warner, commissary-sergeant, Secontl Infantry. 

John Lynde, commissary-sergeant. Second Infantry. 

Ephriam P. Davis, hospital steward, Second Infantry. 

George F. Lyon, hospital steward. Second Infantry. 

Charles H. Eawson, surgeon, Fifth Infautrj-. 

Nathaniel McCalla, major. Tenth Infantry. 

John C. Bennett, major, Tenth Infantry. 

Wm. P. Davis, surgeon. Tenth Infantry. 

J. O. Skinner, assistant-surgeon. Tenth Infantry. 

Wm. J. Hanger, drum-major. Tenth Infantry. 

John E. Smith, fife-major. Tenth Infantrj'. 

Wm. J. Purdy, chief musician, Tenth Infantry. 

Chas. Fox, first musician, Tenth Infantry. 

Samuel Noble, second musician. Tenth Infantry. 

Adam C. Bausman, third musician. Tenth Infantry. 

John W. Warner, third musician. Tenth Infantry. 

Edward J. McGorrisk, surgeon, Ninth Infantry. 

James A. Williamson, colonel, Fourth Infantry. 

James A. Williamson, lieutenant-colonel, Fourth In- 

Alex. Shaw, assistant-surgeon. Fourth Infantr3^ 

David Beach, assistant-surgeon, Fourth Infantry. 

James A. Wiliamson, adjutant. Fourth Infantry. 

John E. Sells, adjutant. Fourth Infantry. 

Marcellus M. Crocker, colonel, Thirteenth Infantry. 

James H. Flynt, quartermaster-sergeant. Fifteenth In- 

Louis Boudinot, hospital steward. Fifteenth Infantry. 


Edward J. McGorrisk, assistant-surgeon, Seventeenth 

William Eagan, major, Eighteenth infantry. 

Charles J. Clark, lieutenant-colonel, Twenty-third in- 

Charles J. Clark, major, Twenty-third infantry. 

Leonard B. Houston, major. Twenty-third infantry. 

W. II. Ward, assistant-surgeon. Twenty-third infautr}-. 

Matthew C. Brown, adjutant, Twenty-third infantry. 

Robert C. Cross, quarter-master, Twenty-third infantry. 

William Merrill, quartermaster. Twenty-third infantry. 

Arthur J. Barton, chaplain. Twenty-third infantry. 

Charles S. Hepburn, hospital steward, Twentj^-third in- 

James R. Crenshaw, fife-major. Twenty-third infantry. 

Charles H. Sharman, adjutant. Thirty-third infantry. 

Francis M. Slusser, chaplain. Thirty-third infantry. 

John S. Davis, hospital steward. Thirty-fourth infantry. 

Joseph M. Griffiths, colonel. Thirty-ninth infantry. 

Joseph M. Griffiths, lieutenant-colonel, Thirty-nith in- 

George C. Tichenor, adjutant. Thirty-ninth infantry. 

Josiah Hopkins, major. Forty-fourth infantry. 

George J. North, major. Forty-seventh infantry. 

James P. Roach, chaplain. Forty-seventh infantry. 


P. H. Van Slyck, quartermaster-sergeant. Third cavalry. 

Joseph E. Jewett, major, Fourth cavalrj^ 

Charles Graham, second battalion saddler-sergeant. 
Fourth cavalry. 

Orren F. Mitchell, commissary-sergeant. Eighth cav- 

Edgar T. Ensign, major, Ninth cavalry. 



Xoali V\'. Mills, i()mi)aii.Y D, Weeoud infantry. 

Edgar T. Ensi<>n, companv D, Second infantry. 

Nathaniel McCalla, company A, Tenth infantry. 

vSamnel J. Daui;ler, United States Veterans. 

Henry 11. (iriftlths, r(!ni])any E, Fonrth infantry. 

A'N'ilnier S. Simmons, company E, Fonrth infantry. 

Nathaniel McCalla, company A, Tenth infantry. 

Ebenezer E. Howe, company A, Tenth infantry. 

K(d_)ert Lnsby, comi)any K, Tenth infantry. 

Jnlien Bansman, companj^ K, Tenth infantry. 

"SA'illiam Rahm, company K, Tenth infantry. 

T\'ilson T. Smith, company B, Fifteenth infantry. 

Adophns G. Stndor, company B, Fifteenth infantry. 

Christopher E. Tjanstrmm, c-ompany B, Fifteenth in- 

William II. (Joodrell, company B, Fifteenth infantry. 

AVilliam 11. Iloxie, eompany B, Seventeenth infantry. 

John H. Browne, company F, Seyenteenth infantry. 

John 11. Looby, cmnpany G, Eighteenth infantry. 

Le(mard B. Honston, company A, Twenty-third infan- 

Theodore G. Cree, company A, Twenty-third infantry 

Charles J. Clark, company B, Twenty-third infantry. 

Joel M. Walker, company B, Twenty-third infantry. 

James C. Gregg, company C, Twenty-third infantry. 

John A. T. Hnll, company C, Twenty-third infantry. 

Benjamin Jeiniings, company C, Twenty-tliird infantry. 

Robert W. Cross, company G, Twenty-third infantry. 

Robert W. Cross, company H, Twenty-third infantry. 

Andrew T. Blodgett, company B, Thirty-ninth infantry. 

Angnstns Yerger, company I, Thirty-ninth infantry. 


Eobert C. Hunter, company I, Thirty-ninth infantry. 
Josiah Hopkins, company H, Forty-fourth infantry. 
David J. Pattee, company F, Forty-seventh infantry. 
Adoniram J. Merritt, company K, engineer regiment of 
the west. 


George C. Graves, company D, Second cavalry. | 

Francis M. Griftith, company D, Second cavalry. 
William H. Hoxie, company M, Eighth cavalry. 
Henry Moreland, company M, Eighth cavalry. 


Henry H. Griffiths, First battery. 
Melville C. Wright, Third battery. 


Norton L. Dykeman, company D, Second infantry. 
Samuel H. Lunt, company D, Second infantry. 
Edgar T. Ensign, company D, Second infantry. 
George L. Godfrey, company D, Second infantry. 
Edward L. Marsh, company D, Second infantry. 
Wiliam L. Davis (veteran), company D, Second infantry. 
Charles J. Clark, company A, Tenth infantry. 
John J. Hanna, company A, Tenth infantry. 
Hezekiah Van Dorn, company A, Tenth infantry. 
Ebenezer E. Howe, company A, Tenth infantry'. 
William G. Swim, company A, Tenth infantry. 
Wilmer S. Simmons, company E, Fourth infantry. 
John E. Sells, company E, Fourth infantry. 
Sheldon C. Treat, company E, Fourth infantry. 
Emerson S. Bramholl, company E, Fourth infantry. 


Geoi'f^e M. Bentley, Company B, Tenth infantry. 
Hteel Kenwortliy, Company B, Tenth infantry. 
Jnlien Bausmau, Company K, Tenth infantry. 
^A'illiam Ralini, Company K, Tentli infantry. 
William C. Baylies, Company K, Tenth infantry. 
Christopher PI Lanstrnm, Company B, Tentli infantry. 
David Kinj;-, Company B, Tenth infantry. 
William Goodrell, Company F, Fifteenth infantry. 
John H. Browne, Companj' F., Seventeenth infantr;\. 
John A. Fullerton, Company K, Seventeenth infantry. 
William Ragan, Company I, Eighteenth infantry. 
Charles M. Condon, Company I, Eighteenth infantry. 
Joel M. Walker, Compan};- B, Twenty-third infantry. 
Stephen Waterbury, Company B, Twenty-thii'd infantry. 
MattheAV C Brown, Company B, Twenty-third infantry. 
Henry Crabtree, Company B, Twenty-third infantiw. 
John A. T. llnll. Company C, Twenty-third infantry. 
Benamin Jennings, Company C, Twenty-third infantry. 
Lyle A. Garrett, Company C, Twenty-third infantry. 
William E. Houston, Company E, Twenty-third infantry. 
William Merrill, Company E, Twenty-third infantry. 
Charles H. vSharman, Company G, Thirty-third infantry. 
Andrew T. Blodgett, Company B, Thirty-ninth infantry. 
Franklin R. Thurber, Compan}- B, Thirty-ninth infantry. 
Angnstus Yerger, Company I, Thirty-ninth infantry. 
Robert C. Hunter, Company I, Thirty-ninth infantry. 
Erastus Scott, Companj' I, Thirty-ninth infantry. 
William Van Horn, Company H, Forty-fonrth infantry. 
Welden England, Company F, Forty-seventh infantry. 


Gnstavns Washburn, Company D, Seeond cavalry. 
Samuel J. Dangler, (^.'onipany D, Second cavalry. 


Frankliu Deford, Company A, Seventh cavalry. 
Henry Morelancl, Comi^any M, Eighth cavah'v. 


Selah H. Titus, First battery. 
John Burli, Second batterj-. 


Noali ^^^ Mills, ('oiupaiiy L), Second infantry. 
Edgar T. Ensign, Company D, Second infantry, 
(ieorge L. Godfrey, Company D, Second infantry. 
Edward L. Marsli, Compau}- D, Second infantry. 
Jolm Lynde, Company D, Second infantry. 
Augustus R. Robinson, Second United States volunteers. 
Josiah Hophins, Company A, Tenth infantry. 
^Villiam P. Meekins, Company A, Tenth infantry. 
Isaac Whicher, Company E, Fourth infantry. 
Sheldon C. Treat, Company E, Fourth infantry. 
Richard W. Ross, Company E, Fourth infantry. 
Felix T. Gandy, Company E, Fourth infantrjr. 
Josiah Hopkins, Company A, Fourth infantry. 
William P. Meekins, Company A, Fourth infantry. 
Jonathan J. Wright, Comi^any A, Fourth infantry. 
John W; Wright, Company B, Fourth infantry. 
John H. Watson, Company F, Thirteenth infantry. 
'Chris E. Lanstrum, Ccjmpanj^ B, Fifteenth infantry. 
Reese Wilkins, Company B, Fifteentli infantry. 
John S. Green, Companj- B, Fifteenth infantry. 
David King, Company B, Fifteenth infantry. 
Robert Lyon, Company B, Fifteenth infantry. 
Samuel T. Reese, Company B, Seventeenth infantry. 
John II. Browne, Company F, Seventeenth infantry. 


John H. Loobj^, Company G, Eighteenth infantrj^. 

Charles M. Condon, Company I, Eighteenth infantry. 

Theodore Cree, Companj^ A, Twentj^-third infantrj^ 

Stephen A. Waterbury, Company B, Twenty-third in- 

Chauncey A. Williams, Company B, Twenty-third in- 

Francis Weitman, Company B, Twenty -third infantry. 

Benjamin Jennings, Company C, Twenty-third infantry. 

William H. Downs, Company C, Twenty-third infantry. 

William E. Houston, Company E, Twenty-third infantry. 

Charles H. Sharman, Company G, Thirty-third infantry. 

Eobert C. Hunter, Companj' I, Thirty-ninth infantry. 

William Van Dorn, Company H, Forty-fourth infantry. 

Josiah M. Yale, Company F, Forty-seventh infantry. 


Daniel Hall, Company D, Second cavalry. 
Francis M. Griffith, Company D, Second infantry. 
Eli Keeler, Company M, Eighth cavalry. 
Joseph E. Jewett, Company D, Second cavalry. 
Samuel Noel, Company D, Second cavalry. 



THE objects to be accomplished by this organization 
are as follow, thns set forth in the Constitution and 
J'.y-Laws of the Grand Army of the Republic: 

I. To preserve and strengthen those kind and fraternal 
feelings which bind together the soldiers, sailors and ma- 
rines w ho united to suppress the late rebellion, and to per- 
petuate the memory and history of the dead. 

II. To assist such former comrades in arms as need 
help and protection, and to extend needful aid to the 
widows and orphans of those who have fallen. 

III. To maintain true allegiance to the United States 
of America, based upon the paramount respect for, and 
fidelity to the National Constitution and laws; to discon- 
tinuance whatever tends to weaken loyalty, incites to in- 
surrection, treason or rebellion, or in any manner impairs 
the efficiency and permanency of our free institutions; and 
encourage the spread of universal liberty, equal rights 
and justice to all men. 

Crocker Post, No. 12, Department of Iowa, Grand Army 
of the Republic, which is now the largest post in the State, 
A\as organized March 11, 1879, with twentj^-two charter 

The post was named after Major General Marcellus M. 
Crocker, who entered the service of his country from Des 
Moines as captain of Company D, Second Iowa Infantry, 


and tlirough bravery and meritorious service won his way 
up to tlie proud position of major general of volunteers 
before the close of the war. 

(A-ocker Post has, from the time of its organization, had 
a steady, constant and healthful growth, both from orig- 
inal applications and by transfers from other posts in the 
State and nation; and in the year 1888, Joe Hooker Post, 
Xo. 21, Iiaving surrendered its charter, the majority of its 
members joined Crocker by transfer. 

The total enrollment of Crocker Post is six hundred and 
tifly-one members ((151), nearly every loyal State being- 
represented, as will be seen b,y the folloAving classilica- 
ti(.>n of 


Maine 5 

New Hampshire 3 

Vermont 5 

Massachusetts 11 

Connecticut t> 

Ehode Island 1 

New York 32 

Ml ryland 1 

Pennsylvania 33 

Delaware 1 

West Virginia 3 

Ohio n9 

Indiana 15 

Michigan K; 

Wisconsin 27 

Illinois 79 

Minnesota (I 

Iowa 250 

Kansas 1 

Nebraska 3 

Colorado 2 

California 3 

Kentucky 1 


Missouri 10 

United States Colored Troo^js 13 

Taiited States Anny 9 

Ignited States Na^-y 3 

District of Columbia 1 

And its present membership in good standing is. . . . 41(1 

Its present membership comprises, not only men of 
proved patriotism and good citizenship, bnt a goodly per 
cent of Des Moines' most progressive and pnblic-si)irited 
professional and business men will be found ou the rolls of 
Crocker Post. 

Having from principle seiTed their country when its 
very existence was in peril, they take a warm interest in 
their comrades, in the affairs of the post, and in preserving 
and perpetuating the principles that they and their com- 
rades maintained in the war at such terrible and priceless 

Crocker Post has always been foremost in pati'iotic work 
of every description. In addition to the thousands of dol- 
lars raised and expended in assisting worthy comrades winy 
were in distress in the city and State, it sent a handsome 
amount to the sufferers by fire, in Charleston, S. C, most 
of whom were confederates; to the flood sufferers, Johns- 
town, I'a.; to the flood sufferers of Sioux City and Chero- 
kee, Iowa ; to the cyclone sufferers, Pomeroy, Iowa, and to 
the drouth stricken section of Nebraska. 

It has also been a consistent and persistent teacher of 
patriotism, having during the construction of the new 
High School building in Des Moines, presented the school 
with a beautiful silk flag to be preserved in the main audi- 
ence room, where an artistic marble shield, permanently 
built into the wall, commemorates the occasion. The post 
has since presented each school in West, North and South 
Des Moines with an elegant flag to float over their re- 


spective buildings, including also the Des Moines Pnblic 

Crocker Post took the initiatory steps that resulted in 
the location of the Department Headquarters in our beau- 
tiful State Capitol — Iowa being among the first to thus 
recognize and honor the Grand Army of the Eepublic. 

On Washington's birthday (by action of the G. A. E. 
called Flag Day) and on Memorial Day, Crocker Post uni- 
formly appoints committees, sufficient to visit each school 
building, who assist in the patriotic exercises of the day, 
intended to inspire the young with patriotic teaching, the 
comrades always emphasizing the sentiment of "One covm- 
try and one flag, with malice towards none, with charity 
for all." 

The following have been post commanders since its or- 
ganization : 

Josiah Given 1S79 

M. T. V. Bowman 1880 

William Merrill 1881 

M. C. Christy 1882 

W. A. Abbett 1883 

W. H. Sallada 1884 

F. Olmstead 1885 

F. J. Cressey 1886 

J. G. Rounds 1887 

J. W. Muffly 1888 

H. M. Pickell 1889 

Lewis Schooler, M. D 1890 

A. Masser 1891 

M. L. Leonard 1892 

J. H. McCord 1893 

E. E. LTutchins . .1891 

T. B. Eobinson 1895 


Post Commander — T. B. Eobinson. 
Senior Vice Commander — Fred Babcock. 


Junior Vice Commander — H. C Murjjhy. 

Adjutant — H. C. Bachrodt. 

Quartermaster — J. S. Ring. 

Surgeon — Dr. C. Thomas. 

Chaplain — J. S. Plumley. 

Officer of the Day— M. T. Scanlan. 

Officer of the Guard— A. L. Griffith. 

Sergeant Major — J. J. Stuckey. 

Quartermaster Sergeant — W. H. Balier. 

Guards — H. Lucas, W. M. Howell. 

Color Bearers — S. W. Maltbie, E. N. Dahlburg. 

Trustees — A. L. Smith, H. B. Hedge, J. G. Rounds. 

The following is a roster of National and Department 
officers and appointments held by members of the post: 

Department Commander — P. V. Carey, 1881; J. M. Tut- 
tle, 1887. 

Junior Vice Department Commander — W. H. Sallada, 

Department Chaplain- D. R. Lucas, 1880, 1881, 1882. 

Medical Director— E. R, Hutching, 1880; G. P. Hanna- 
walt, 1886. 

Assistant Adjutant General— J. W. Muffly, 1887, 1888; 
M. L. Leonard, 1892, 1893. 

Judge Advocate — J. Given, 1895. 

Department Mustering Officer — F. Olmstead, 1879; W. 
W. Fink, 1879. 

Chief of Staff— E. R. Hutchins, 1893. 

Department Inspector — P. V. Carey, 1880. 

Council of Administration— J. Given, 1880; M. T. Rus- 
sell, 1880; William Merrill, 1881; P. V. Carey, 1882, 1883, 
1884, 1885; M. T. V. Bowman, 1882; W. A. Abbett, 1891. 

Assistant Mustering Officer — W. H. Sallada. 

Assistant Inspector— W. A. Abbett, 1881; J. W. Mufflv, 
1886, 1891; M. T. Scanlan, 1891. 

Aid de Camp to Department Commander — W. H. Sal- 
lada, 1881 to 1886; W. W. Fink, 1881; Jacob Beaner, 1881; 
M. T. V. Bowman, 1882; W. D. Lncas, 1882; George E. Grif- 
fith, 1884; E. R. Hutchins, 1885, 1886, 1887, 1888, 1890; L. 
Schooler, 1887; H. M. Pickell, 1887; Jesse Cheek, 1890; W. 
A. Abbett, 1890; J. H. Campbell, 1890; J. W. Muffly, 1890; 
M. T. Russell, 1890; W. E. Da\is, 1891; C. S. Wilson, 1892. 


< V)iiimittee on Soldiers' Home — J. (riven, 1886. 

Committee on Military History— W. W. Fink, 1881. 

Escort to ( ieneral Grant on his retnrn from trip around 
the world— E. K. Hutehins, AV. W. Fink, P. A\ Carey, M. 
T. V. P>oAvman, G. L. Godfrey, and W. L. Alexander. 

Delei^ates to National Encampment — J. Given, 1880, 
1880, 1888; W. A. Abbett, 1881, 1893; W. H. Sallada, 1883; 
H. M. Pickell, 1888; T. B. Robinson, 1892; W. A. Abbett, 

National Council of Administration — P. X. Carey, 1881; 
H. M. Pickell, 1889. 

Aide-de-Canm to Commander-in-Chief — E. K. Hutchins, 
1880, 1888, 1889, 1891, 1892, 1893; F. J. Ci-essey, 1886; W. 
H. Sallada, 1884; J. Given, 1888; H. M. Pickell, 1888; J. H. 
Caui]»bell, 1888, 1890; H. L. Swords, 1890; Lewis Schooler, 
1892; W. A. Abbett, 1892. 


Alexander, W. L., captain, 30th Iowa Infantry. 

Abbett, W. A., captain, 79th Indiana Infantrv. 

*****Ankeney, P. I). 

*Anderson, J. S., quartermaster sergeant, 19th Iowa In- 

Andrews, George, private, 90th Ohio Infantry. 

Adams, Dr. J. W., second lieutenant, Tth Indiana In- 

Anderson, Ira W., private, 45tli Iowa Infantry. 

Allabach, E. W., private, 52nd Pennsylvania Infantry. 

Ankeny, K. V., col. bvt. bg. gen., lJ:2nd Illinois Infantry. 

Allen lieuben, private, 45th Illinois Infantry. 

**Anfenson, Die, private, 10th Iowa Infantry. 

** Archer, E. W., corporal, 9tli New Hampshire Infantry. 

Ashford, E. P., sergeant, 23rd Iowa Infantry. 

Anderson, Milton, corporal, 115th Illinois Infantrv. 

Allen, John II., private, 60t]i U. S. C. T. 

Anderson, James, private, 43rd Illinois Infantry. 

Ames, H. S., private, 11th Michigan Infantry. 

Ainsworth, James S., ])rivate, 6th ^''ermont Infantry. 

***** war and honorary. 


Adams, John Q., second lieutenant U. S. Signal Corps; 
private, 88th Ohio Volunteers. 

Addison, F. M., private, 46th Wisconsin ^'olnnteers. 

**Bristow, (leorge W., private, Iowa Infantry; sergeant 
W. Eng. Co.; major, 9th U. S. Vt. In. 

Bowman, M. T. X., first lieutenant, 1st Maine Cavalry, 
brigade comma nder. 

Bristow, P. II., corporal, 45th Iowa Infantry. 

**Bitting, W. II., private, 2nd Iowa Infantry. 

Baylies, R. N., corporal, 47th Iowa Infantry. 

Bushnell, J. P., private, 44th Iowa Infantry. 

Blake, J. S., sergt. major, 2nd Wisconsin Cavalrv. 

*****Barcroft, K. L. 

Belknap, David, private, 29th Iowa Infantry. 

Baker, W. II., private, 17th Ohio Infantry. 

*Bro,yhill, Martin, ord. sergeant, 108th Illinois Infantry. 

*Baker, CJeorge C, corporal, 23rd Iowa Infantry. 

**Baird, R. B., 1st lieut., Q. M., 35th Iowa Infantry. 

Babcock, Fred, Q. M. S., 14th Illinois Cavalry. 

Brewer, J. A., ca^jtain, 23rd Missouri Infantry. 

Bausman, Julian, 1st lieutenant, 10th Iowa Infantiy. 

Brown, J. W., corporal, 26tli Iowa Infantry. 

Bacon, George S., captain, 29th Iowa Infantry. 

Bryan, P. Gad, lieut. col., 1st Iowa Infantry. 

Becker, A., private, 129th Illinois Infantry. 

Beerbower, Eli, private, 3rd Iowa Infantry. 

Bird, W. K., private, 2nd Iowa Infantry. 

Beckwith, John, private, 104th New Yf)rk Infantry. 

Barger, R. W., private, 1st Battery, Cavalry M. M. Br. 

Bliss, Alvin, private, 3rd Massachusetts II. A. 

Blake, Henry W., private, 11th Wisconsin Infantry. 

**Bliss, James, sergeant, 47th Illinois Infantry. 

Beaner, Jacob, private, 122nd Pennsylvania Infantry. 

Bachrodt, II. C, private, 19th Wisconsin Infantry. 

Briggs, Moore, adjutant, 31st Iowa Infantry. 

Blair, R. L., sergt. major, 20tli Iowa Infantry. 

*Blair, John G., private, 47th Iowa Infantry. 
Bailey, W^allace, private, 4th Massachusetts II. A. 

Barnett, John M., private, 2nd Iowa Infantry. 

** Transferred. 
*****Mexican war and honorary. 


Balliet, kS. F., private, ITtli Illinois Cavalry. 

Bradshaw, L. H., private, 2ud Illinois Cavalry. 

*Beaner, Fred, private, 50th Pennsylvania Infantry. 

Bradley, Frank, 1st Nebraska Cavalry. 

Bruce, Robert, private, 11th U. S. Infantry. 

Brown, J. W., sergeant, 3rd New York Cavalry. 

Barton, T. E., sergeant, 110th U. S. Cavalry. 

Bromley, Owen, private, 2nd Iowa Infantry. 

Bishop, J. F., captain, 4th Iowa Infantry. 

Boyd, William R., private, 22nd Iowa Infantry. 

Buck, William, private, 151st Indiana Infantrj'. 

Burt, E. O., 1st sergeant, 19th Indiana Infantry. 

Bennett, Joshua S., private, 2nd Iowa Cavalry. 

Butin, A. J., private, 40th Iowa Infantry. 

Brownfield, John A., private, 1st Wisconsin H. A. 

Beard, EdAvin, private, 2nd U. S. Y. Yol., 2nd Minnesota 

Bibbins, M. W., private, 5th Michigan Cavalry. 

Belvel, Henrj^ M., private, 34th Iowa Infantry. 

Bagley, William, chaplain, 35th Iowa Infantry. 

Burgess, James F., corporal, 15tli Massachusetts Infan- 

Burgin, Edward S., private, 1st Maine L. A. 

Brown, W. IT. H., private, 31st Iowa Infantry. 

Booth, W. E., com. sergeant, 41st Ohio Infantry. 

Boyle, F. AV., private, 4th Ohio Cavaliy. 

Blatner, Jacob, private, 4t]i Iowa Infantry. 

Berger, Benedict, private, 51st Pennsylvania Yolnnteers. 

Benedict, Don A., 20th Wisconsin Yolunteers. 

Bittinger, John M., 94th Illinois Volunteers. 

Byers, S. IT. M., 1st lieut. 5th Iowa Yolunteers. 

Brow)ie, Oliver L. F., captain, 149tli N. Y. Yolunteers. 

Burger, F. W., private, 15th Iowa Yolunteers. 

Clarkson, R. P., sergeant, 12th Iowa Infantry. 

Cheek, J. \Y., private, 15th loAva Infantrv. 

Cressey, F. J., captain, lltli U. S. C. Infantry. 

r'hristy, M. C., corporal, Sth Iowa Cavalry. 

Collins, Frank, private, 3rd Iowa Cavalry. 

Caldwell, J. J., private, 23rd Iowa Infantrv. 

*****Cressey, Mrs. J. G. 

***Mexiean war and honorary. 


Chiklers, Frauk X., private, Totli Indiana lufantiy. 

*Catlett, A\'. O., i^rivate, 9J:tli Illinois Infantry. 

Childs, A. M., private, Gth Iowa Cavalry. 

Connor, William, private, 13tli jS'ew York CaAalry. 

Cowgill, F., hospital stew., STth Illinois Infantry. 

**Cain, Kev. W. A., private, 39tli Iowa Infantry. 

*Crandale, Dr. W. H. H., captain, Q. M. D., 107th Penn- 
sylvania Infantry. 

Christy, W. D., Q. M. sergt., 2nd Iowa Infantry. 

**Croswait, Dr. P. R., 1st sergt., 1st Iowa Cavalry. • 

Clark, J. y., captain, 31th Iowa Infantry. 

Chambers, E. ^A^, private, ISTtli Ohio Infantry. 

Chapin, "\\'. E., private, 29th Wisconsin Infantry. 

Cole, C. W., corporal, 105th Illinois Infantry. 

Clifford, 8. K., private, 3rd Iowa Cavalry. 

Chapman, John, private, 27th Iowa Infantry. 

*Craig-, Josiah, private, 2nd Iowa Cavalry. 

Castell, John, captain, 13th Ohio Infantry. 

Chauey, J. II., sergeant, 24th Ohio Artillery. 

Case, J. W., private, 9th Missouri Cavalry. 

Carey, P. V., captain, 14th New York 11. A. 

Cozier, Rev. B. F. W., chaplain, 3rd Ohio Infantry. 

Camp, W. M., lieutenant, 1st Ohio L. A. 

Chapman, L. O., private, 9th Michigan Infantry. 

Campbell, Wilson M., private, 2nd Iowa Battery. 

*Clark, William T., captain A. A. C, 1st Nebraska lu- 

Cunw, N. G., private, 4th Iowa Infantry. 

Carpenter, W^. L., adjutant, 32nd Iowa Infantry. , 

Canine, Cornelius, private, 33rd Iowa Infantry. 

*Carothers, William, private, 13th Iowa Infantry. 

Campbell, John H., private, 30th Ohio Infantry. 

Conner, W. A., private, 2nd Minnesota Cavalry. 

CuUem, Patrick. 

*Crill, C. ^Y., 8th Iowa Volunteers. 

*Cooper, W^. A., private, 8th Iowa Infantry. 

*Curtis, M. J., private, 8th Illinois Cavalry. 

Crandale, George A., private, 22nd New York Infantry. 

Childress, H. J., private, 28th Iowa Infantry. 

*Clark, Whiting S., captain, 18th Maine Infantry. 

Cassidy, Lawrence, private, 5th Iowa Cavalry. 

*Diea. , ' . ' . 


(Au'ter, A., private, 100th Illinois Infantry. 

Cameron, Robert, seryeaut, 3r(l New York CaA'alry. 

Cnlver, D. F., private, 38th Iowa Infantry. 

(Jliue, George, private, 95th Illinois Infautrj-. 

Cliase, John W., private, 145th Illinois Infantry. 

Collins, Ephraim, ijrivate, 40th Indiana Infantry. 

( 'arpeuter, (ieorge W., private, 9Gth Illinois Infantry. 

Cooper, Charles, private, S9th Illinois Infantry. 

Callender, \\^illiani, private, 2nd Iowa Infautrj'. 

Chambers, John W., 1st sergt., 5th Indiana Infantry. 

Camp, Henry C, private, 58th Illinois Infantry. 

Cowan, Eichard, private, 1st Illinois Cavalry. 

Classon, Warren, 1st lieiit., 144th Indiana Infantry. 

(4ark, Thomas A., private, 41st Illinois Infantry. 

Cooper, 8. A., sergeant, 5th Iowa Infantrv; captain, 50th 
U. 8. C. 

Campbell, Frank T., captain, 40tli Iowa Infantry. 

Cliai»man, I\. U., coiq)oral, 24tli Ohio Infantry. 

CoAvnum, D. F., private, 83rd Illinois Infantry. 

CraAvford, J. L., private, 3rd Iowa Infantry; 2nd Iowa 

Clnre, Joseph, private, 22nd Iowa Volnnteers. i 

Conger, E. II., bvt. major, 102nd Illinois 'S'olnnteers. 

Crenshaw, II. R., sergeant, 28th loAva A'olnnteers. 

Creighton, James II., 1st lient., 18th Iowa A'olnnteero. 

Cook, Friend, private, 145tli Pennsylvania ^"olnnteers. 

Campbell, Thomas W., private, 59th Ohio Volunteers. 

Cline, C. E., private, Ttli Illinois Y(dunteers. 

Davis, W. L., 1st lient., 2nd Iowa Infantry. 

Dimuiitt, G. M., private, 44th Iowa Infantry. 

Drady, M., ])rivate, 2nd Iowa Infantry. 

Day, James G., captain, 15th Iowa Infantry. 

Dnnlap, 8. M., private, 8th Iowa Infantry. 

Dalrymple, I). W., sergeant, l(3th Wisconsin Infantry. 

Drown, D. B., private, 106th Illinois Infantrv. 

Davis, W. L., captain, 35th loAva Infantry; s'oth U. S. 

Dysart, John T., corporal, 3rd Ohio Infantrv. 

Dockstader, Ezra, ])rivate, 2(;th Iowa Infantry. 

Davis, William E., ]irivate, 20th Iowa Infantry. 

Davis, A. S., corpoi-al, 4th Iowa Infantry. 

Dixon, Lnther, private, 33r(l Illinois Infantry. 

Davis, E. C, sergeant, lltli Missonri Cavalry. 


D()wiiin<;-, A. G., lltli Iowa Infantry. 

De(Joui'se,Y, James L., private, 5(Jtli Peiiusylvania In- 

*Davis, Joseph B., private, 1st Iowa Infantry. 

*DeVault, James G, private, 16th Iowa Infantry. 

Dewey, E., sergeant, UOth AN'isconsin Infantry. 

Davenj^ort, W. S., private, 5th Wisconsin Batter^'. 

*I)oyIe, F. J., private, 4()th Indiana Infantry. 

Denny, Elza M., private, 81st Indiana Infantry. 

*DeLung Fenton L., private, 15th loAva Infantry'. 

Dahlbery, li. N., private, 2nd Iowa Infantry. 

Dixon, (iec^rge W., private, Slst Ohio A'olnnteers. 

Dawson, (i. A., priA'ate, 9th Indiana Volunteers. 

Dunning, Dj-er D., sergeant, 8th Illinois Gavalrv. 


Evens, George H., 1st sergt., 2nd Michigan Infantry. 

Ellis, M. J., private, 21)tli Wisconsin Volunteers. 

"Englebert, J. Lee, cai)tain, 3rd Penns^dvania Cavalry, 
brevet colonel. 

**Els()n, E. T., musician, 10th Iowa Infantry. 

*Elliott, Henry, private, 21st Illinois Infantry; 75th 
Illinois Infantry. 

Eberliart, A. G., private, 3rd Iowa Infantry. 

Eaton, II. G, private, 7th Indiaua Infantry. 

Eatinger, Richard, i>rivate, 7th Kansas Gavalry. 

Fink, W. W., private, 23rd Iowa Infantry. 

Foster, A. M., i)i'ivate, 23rd Iowa Infantry. 

Funk, vS. G., private, 10th Iowa Infantry. 

Frazier, George S., private, 22nd Ohio Infantry. 

Frisbie, Kev. A. L., chaplain, 20th Connecticut Infantrv. 

**Ford, David A., cori)oral, 21th U. S. Infantry. 

Fuller, If. E., private, 75th Illinois Infantry. 

**Forbes, W. A., sergeant, 57th Massachusetts Infantry. 

Fenn, E. D., private, 2nd Iowa Infantry. 

*Forgy, John D., private, 46th Indiana Infantry. 

Erase,' B. B., McLaughlin; Q. M. S., 16th Ohio Infantrv. 

Field, B. R., private, 11th New York H. A. 

Forgrave, John H., musician, 2nd Iowa Infantry. 

Flynn, Robert Y., private, 1th Iowa Cavalry. 

Ferree, W. D., private, 89tli Indiana Infantry. 



Fagan, J. E., coi*poral, 23rd Iowa Infantry. 

Fike, D. M., musician, llTtli Illinois Infantry. 

Fitzgerald, J. H., private, 11th Pennsjdvania Infantry. 

Fox, I). M., colonel, 27tli Michigan Infantry. 

Fickell, Joel, private, 6Tth Ohio Infantry. 

Foley, Thomas, airtiflcer, 2nd Iowa L. A. 

FaiTington, S. !S., corporal, 39th Iowa Infantry. 

Given, Josiah, captain, 21th Ohio Infantry; brev. brig. 

Griffith, George E., Q. M. 8., 37th Illinois V. V. 

*(iriffiths, H. H., captain, 1st Battery Iowa Artillery. 

*Grauis, John D., private, 115th N. Y. Infantry. 

*****Githins, Mrs. K. 

*****Grifflths, I. W. 

Grigsby, L. M., i)rivate, 11th Kansas Cavalry. 

Goodwin, G. W., captain, 1st Missouri Cavalry. 

Griffith, B. L., private, 31st Illinois Infantry. 

Gatchell, T. F., 1st sergt., 5th Maryland Infantry. 

Gough, John B., private, 192nd Pennsjdvania Infantry. 

Gatch, C. H., lieut. col., 133rd Ohio Infantry. 

Godfrey, G. L., lieut. col., 1st Alabama Cavalry. 

**Gurnsey, Dr. M. A., corporal, 33rd Wisconsin Infantry. 

Gray, John L., private, 24th Iowa Infantry. 

Garberich, Dr. E. W., 1st lieut., 48th Pennsylvania In- 

**Gates, J. A., 2nd lieut., 1st Battery, 13th U. 

Green, Charles W., musician, 4th Iowa Infantry. 

(Jarber, Peter, private, 24th Iowa Infantry. 

Garret, W. A., Q. M. S., 15th New York Cavalry. 

Gonden, Louis N., 1st lieut., 2nd Maryland Infantry. 

Games, John M., private, 19th Iowa Infantry. 

Graham, Alexander, private, 2nd Iowa Infantry. 

*Garret, Eeuben, private, 1st Missouri L. A. 

Gaston, W. J., 2ncl lieut., 23rd Iowa Infantiw. 

Griffith, C. W., corporal, 4th Maryland. 

Gaston, W. H., private, 47th Iowa Infantry. 

Griffith, A. L., private, 8th Iowa Infantry. 

Gore, John, private, 13th Ohio Cavalry; 10th Kentucky 

Gross, Solamon L., private, 36th' Indiana Infantry. 

*Died. • ■ 

*****Mexican war and honorary. 


Gammon, Wan-en, private, 52nd Illinois Infautiy. 

Garritt, W. H. H., private, 1st California Infantry. 

Gill, Seymour T., private, 7th Ohio Infantiy. 

Gammon, M. W., private, 52nd Illinois Infantry. 

Graham, William, private, 9th Ohio Cavalry. 

Goss, James G., private, 40th Iowa Volunteers. 

Greenleaf, Moses, private, 9th Minnesota Volunteers. 

Hanawalt, Dr. G. P., A. A. Surgeon, U. S. A. 

Hotchkiss, J. C, private, 4th Michigan Infantry. 

**Hawkins, B. E., sergeant, 15th Iowa Infantry. 

Hanger, William, musician, 10th Iowa Infantry. 

Hitchcock, C. H., private, 14th Vermont Infantry. 

Holland, A., private, 45th Indiana Infantry. 

**Harrisou, John P., private, 47th Wisconsin Infantry. 

Hedge, H. B., com. sergt., Ringgold Cavalry. 

Hershe, B. F., 2nd lieut., 35th Iowa Infantry. 

Hunt, Timoth}', sergeant, 26th Illinois Infantiy. 

Hills, M. A., 1st lieut., 3rd Iowa Infantry. 

Herbert, S. C, private, 3rd Iowa Cavaliy. 

Hahn, J. F., sergeant, 8th Iowa Cavalry. 

Heywood, W^. T., private, 44th Massachusetts Infantry. 

Harding, W. F., private, 3rd Colorado Cavalry. 

Harrison, Henry, private, 60th U. S. C. Infautrj'. 

Hess, A. T., private, 193rd Ohio Infantry. 

**Haworth, George W., private, 50th Illinois Infantry. 

Hutchins, Dr. E. R., private, U. S. Navy; surgeon, 11th 
Massachusetts Infantry. 

*Hanna, Samuel F., 179th Ohio; musician, 135th O. N. G. 

*Hetherington, J. E., private, 16th Pennsylvania Cav- 

Hastings, Horace A., musician, 19th Massachusetts In- 

Hobbs, J. W., 17th Indiana Artillery. 

*Hunting, Rev. S. S., chaplain, 27th Michigan Infantry. 

*Hesse, Franklin, private, 7th Iowa Infantry. 

*Hannon, Edward, private, 1st Iowa Cavalry. 
Hoyt, George, corporal, 44th Wisconsin Infantry. 
Hanger, B. O., private, 10th Iowa Infantry. 
Holmes, J. S. private, 19th Michigan Infantry. 
Hibler, S. W., private, 40th Indiana Infantry. ■ 



Hadley, E. D., lieutenant, 14tli New Hampshire Infan- 
try; brev. capt. 

Hill, J. G., private, 6Sth Illinois Infantry. 

Harding, Tyler, j)rivate, 1st Massachusetts Infantry. 

Hai-vey, K. W., private, 1st Illinois Artilleiy. 

Handy, Stephen, i^rivate, 93rd Illinois Infantry. 

Horton, Alfred M., musician, 59th Illinois Infantry. 

Hoover, William C, musician, 148th Indiana Infantry. 

Hervey, William, private, 12(jth Ohio Infantry. 

Harbison, Robert, sergeant, 3rd Iowa Infantry. 

Harrelsou, John W., private, 28th Illinois Infantry; 1st 
M. B. M. Cavalry. 

*Hahnen, Jacob F. W., i^rivate, 2nd Iowa Cavalry. 

Hatton, J. B., 1st lieut., 31th Iowa Infantry. 

Harter, Edwin F., private, 19th Ohio Infantry. 

Hogan, Martin, private, 2nd Iowa Cavahy. 

Harris, Frederick, luivate, 1st Nebraska Infantry. 

Howell, W. M., private, 179th New York Infantry. 

Ilurlburt, E. T. M., private, 21th New York Artillery. 

Uimes, James W., private, 175th Ohio Infantry. 

Harrison, F. M., private, 15th Connecticut Infantry. 

Hazen, E. H., private, 2nd Michigan. 

House, A. D., private, 22nd West Virginia Infantry. 

Hockett, Jefferson L., private, 15th Iowa Infantry. 

Howe, J. G., private 39th Iowa Infantry. 

*Hunt, William A., private, 4th Iowa Infantry. 

Humphrey, Benjamin, private, 63rd Ohio Infantry. 

Head, Albert, captain, 10th Iowa Volunteers. 

IloUiday, John C, private, 28th Illinois Volunteers. 

Ivers, Joseph, private, 10th Iowa Infantr}^ 

** Johnson, T. L., surgeon's stew., IT. S. Navy. 

James, A. D., private, 1st Colorado Cavalry. 

Johnson, J. M., private, 14tli Iowa Infantry. 

* Jennings, Samuel T., private, 99th N. Y. Infantry. 

Jeffries, Benjamin, 191st Pennsylvania Infantr3^ 

Jones, Palestine, private, 39tli Iowa. 

Johnson, V. P., cor|iOKil, 157th Pennsylvania Infantry. 

*Jenkins, J. W., private, 5th Ohio Cavalry. 

John, Edward D., private, 3rd Iowa Infantry. 

Jordan, W. H., captain, 11th Michigan Cavalry. 



Jones, George C, private, 3rd U. S. Cavalry. 

Joyns, Daniel, private, 3rd Maryland Infantry; 9th Mary- 
land Infantry. 

Jackman, Moses A., private, 12th Illinois Infantry. 

Jay, Thomas, private, Sttth Ohio Volunteers. 

Jones, J. B., private, 39th Wisconsin Volunteers. 

Jones, Isaac, private, 3rd Iowa Cavalry. 

Kiehle, Jonas, jjrivate, 39th Wisconsin Infantry. 

**King, Charles H., private, lIGth Illinois V. V. 

**Kelso, William, corporal, 64th Ohio Infantry. 

Knox, James II., captiiin, 2Ith Iowa Infautry. 

Kivits, A. P., private, 23rd Missouri Infantry. 

Kahly, Henrj', private, 93rd Illinois Infantry. 

Kirk, Cyrus, corporal, Purnell, L. M. V. 

Kindred, A. P., corporal, 54tli Indiana Infantry. 

Kruger, Ludwig W., corporal, 18th Iowa Infautry. 

Kiehl, J. M., corporal, 22nd Pennsylvania Cavalry. 

Keazy, Samuel H., 1st sergt., 19th Michigan Infantry. 

Kuhn, J., private, 3rd Connecticut Artillery. 

Keables, C. F., private, ISth Connecticut Volunteers. 

Kinkead, Lemuel, corporal, Sth Iowa Volunteers. 

*Long, J. IL, private, 7th Iowa Infantry. 

Leonard, M. L., 1st lieut., 29th Connecticut Infantry. 

Looby, J. IL, major, G2nd U. S. C. 

*Laverty, J. E., sergeant, 105th Pennsylvania Infantry. 

*Lucas, W. D., captain, Sth New York Cavalry. 

Ltichte, W. L., 1st sergt., 1st Kansas Infantry. 

Lucas, Eld. D. R., chaplain, 99th Indiana Infantry. 

Lovelace, Brinton, corporal, 39th Iowa Infantry. 

Lehman, W. H., musician, 17th Ohio Infantry. 

Lewis, George H., sergeant, 14th Connecticut Infantry. 

*Livermore, Rev. L. S., chaplain, 16th Wisconsin In- 

Lucas, H. S., private, 40th Indiana Infantry. 

**Laverty, L. F., private, 34th Iowa Infantry. 

Layman, John P., 1st lieut., 149th Indiana Infantry-. 

Layman, Estes H., captain, 149th Indiana Infantry. 

Luzader, James, private, 46tli Indiana Infantry. 

Lambert, Peter, 19th Iowa Infantry. 

Lewis, John, corporal, 4th Iowa Infantry. 



Longshore, David, 1st Iowa Battery. 
Lynch, M., private, 148th Illinois Infantry. 
'■'Ludlow, J. H., private, 1st California Infantry. 
*Luse, M. R., private, 14th Iowa Infantry. 
Lee, Frank C, musician, Sth U. S. Volunteers; 13th Illi- 
nois Infantry. 

Langan, Thomas M., private, 16Gth Ohio Infantry. 

Lawson, Jacob, private, 2nd Iowa. 

Lowery, Austin I*., private, Gth Iowa Infantry. 

Lucas, A. G., sergeant, 12th Pennsylvania Infantry. 

Likes, E. B., private, 33rd Iowa Infantry. 

Lynch, T. W., private, 22nd Pennsylvania Cavalry. 

Locke, James B., sergeant, 47th Iowa Volunteers. 

Lucas, Joseph, i^rivate, 19th Indiana Volunteers. 

Lockwood, F. G., private, 13th Iowa Volunteers. 

Merrill, William, 1st lieut. Q. M., 23rd Iowa Infantry. 

Murphjr, H. G, com. sergt., S4th Indiana Infantry. 

McFadden, M. K., private, 74th Ohio Infantry. 

Morgan, Thomas, private, 7th Iowa Infantry. 

Moore, W. Wiley, 1st lieut., 9th Iowa Cavalry. 

Merrill, Samuel, colonel, 21st Iowa Infantry. 

Martin, V. S., sergeant, 23rd Iowa Infantry. 

Mullen, John, private, 23rd Iowa Infantry. 

*Merritt,W. H., lieut. col., col. on staff, 1st Iowa Infantry. 

McDonald, H. J., lieut. col., 11th Connecticut Infantry. 

Muffly, J. W., adjutant, 148th Pennsylvania Infantry. ' 

Mason, D. B., sergeant, 1st N. M. Brig. 

McCord, J. H., Q. M. S., 1st Iowa Cavalry. 

Masser, A., artificer, 2nd Indiana Battery. 

Miller James, corporal, 133rd Illinois Infantry. 

Marsh, E. L., captain, 2nd Iowa Infantry. 

Morris, E. T., corporal, 2Rth Illinois Infantry. 

McGorrisk, E. J., div. surgeon, 9th Iowa Infantry. 

Merrill, John H., captain, 88th Illinois Infantiy. 

*Mann, Charles, private, 142nd New York Infantry. 

Morland, I. N., private, 1st IT. S. Marine. 

Moorp, W. S., private, 2nd Iowa Infantry. 

Miller, Aua\, private, 1st Iowa Infantrv. 

***Mav, Mrs. Ella. 

*Metzler, F. F., private, 2nd Iowa Tnfantr3^ 

***Hnnorarv members. 


Mitchell, W. F., private, 83rd Illinois Infantry. 
Milligan, T. G., 2nd lieut., 34tli Iowa Infantry. 
Mason, E. R., corporal, 47th Iowa Infantry. 
**Maxwell, T. S., private, 189th New York Infantry. 
Moore, J. H., private, 2nd Illinois Cavalry. 
McDonald, James R., private, 17th Illinois Cavalry. 
McA^ey, Alf H., private, 79th Ohio Infantry. 
McAntee, Charles 8., hvt. lient. col., 43rd N. Y. A^ol. 
Martindale, Edward, colonel, U. S. C. Infantry. 
Maltbie, S. W., captain, 4th U. IS. Infantry. 
McCarthj^, D. F., lieutenant, 10th Minnesota Infantry. 
Moore, J. W., corporal, 23rd Iowa Infantry. 
Miller, C. D., hospital stew., 53rd Illinois Volunteers. 
McDunn, Ezra, act. ensign, U. S. Navy. 
*Mosher, H. B., private, 3rd Massachusetts Infantry. 
Montgomery, L. O., private, 2nd Iowa Infantry. 
Mitchell, Charles B., 9th Indiana Infantry. 
McFarland, H. M., private, 28th Iowa Infantry. 
Millaird, B. D., sergeant, 41st Ohio Infantr3^ 
Miller, George A., private, 103rd Pennsylvania Infantry. 
Merrill, John H., private, 15th Iowa Infantry. 
Macy, Seth, private, 12th Iowa Infantry. 
Matthews, O. J., private, 40th Iowa Infantry. 
Mesler, William, private, 2nd Iowa Cavalry. 
McAninch, William S., corporal, 18th Indiana Batterj^. 
Moffett, F. G., 1st sergt., 34th Iowa InfantrJ^ 
Martin, D. G., private, 33rd New York Infantry. 
McClain, Alonzo, private, 9th Illinois Infantry. 
Mershon, Jason L., sergeant, 3rd Michigan Infantry. 
Mummert, Jacob, private, 7th Iowa Infantry. 
McCormack, J. T., private, 27th Wisconsin Infantry. 
McDonaldson, Levi, private, 5th U. S. C. T. 
Miller, Paul H., fireman, U. S. NaA^ "Avenger." 
McKee, R. J., private, 70th Ohio Volunteers. 
McKenzie, Charles, adjutant, 9th Iowa Volunteers. 
Milliken, F. M., private, 63rd Indiana Volunteers. 
Marion, John P., private, 6th Ohio Volunteers. 
Moss, David W., private, 149th Pennsylvania Volunteers. 
McKenzie, James, private, 30th U. S. Infantry; 1st Bat- 
talion U. S. 



Martin, Andrew P., 157tli Ohio N. G. 

Newhouse, Morris, 2nd lieut., 13tli Connecticut Infantry. 

Newell, Dr. W. H., asst. surgeon, 12tli Illinois Infantry. 

*Noble, Samuel, private, lOth Iowa Infantry. 

Noel, Samuel, lieutenant, 2nd Iowa Cavalry. 

Newby, William, private, 23rd Iowa Infantry. 

Noel, Charles R., private, 11.5th Indiana lufantrj-. 

Newcomb, S. P., private, 42nd Ohio Volunteers. 

Nugent, William, private, 13th New York S. M. 

****01mstead, F., captain, 22nd Ohio; lieut. col., 59th 
Ohio Infantry. 

Owen, Dr. J. W., private, 1st M. M. Brig. 

***Orwig, Mary E. 

Orwig, T. Gr., captain, 1st Pennsjdvania, L. A. 

Overton, F. C, private, 15th Iowa Infantry. 

Oliphant, Joel, private, 98th Pennsylvania Infantrj^ 

Oliver, C. N., private, 14th Illinois Cavalry. 

Orr, Charles A., private, 1st Iowa Cavalry. 

Plumly, J. S., sergeant, 33rd Iowa Infantry. 

Penn, W. H., 1st lieut., 13th Iowa Infantry. 

Pickell, H. M., 1st lieut., 4th Iowa Cavalry. 

**Palmer, J. A., 1st sergt., 54th Massachusetts Infantry. 

Prouty, C. C, captain, 33rd Iowa Infantry. 

Philbrook, D. W. 

Plumb, Henry, 1st lieut., N. Y. ; brev. capt. 59t.h Veteran 

Patton, J. N., 1st lieut., com. capt., 36th Ohio Infantrj'. 

Porter, John, private, 23rd Iowa Infantry. 

Porter, A. N., private, 138th New York Infantry. 

Perrin, J. O., private, 6th Michigan Infantry. 

*Parker, W. H., private, 1st Vermont Cavalry. 

*Parrish, John C., 1st lieut., Q. M., 4th Arkansas Cavalry. 

Price, Henry, private, 119th Illinois Infantry. 

**Phillips, P. O. H., private, 65th Illinois Infantiw. 

*Park, C. B., surgeon, 1st Vermont H. A. 

Pettit, Thomas T., private, 55th Ohio Infantry. 

Parker, James M., coi'poral, 15t]i Iowa Infantry. 

Poor, John M., private, 112th Illinois Infantry. 

Porter A. N., private, 138th Ohio Infantry. 

**Transf erred. 
***Honorary members. 
****Mexican war. , 


Price, John, sergeant, 21st Iowa Infantry. 

Pence, Oliver P., priyate, lltli Indiana Infantry. • 

Prirae, Jolm R., priyate, 27th Iowa Infantry. 

Purdy, William H., private, 10th Iowa Infantry; mu- 
sician, 109th New York Infantry. 

Patrick, J. P., private, 3rd Iowa Volunteers; 2nd lieut., 
2nd U. S. Artillery. 

Purcell, Dennis, private, 4Tth Pennsylvania Volunteers. 

Rounds, J. G., sergeant, 12th Maine Infantry. 

**Rhoades, D. G., chaplain, 42nd Pennsylvania Infantry. 

Russell, M. T., captain, 51st Indiana Infantry. 
, **Randleman, W. H. 

*Rawson, Dr. C. H., sui'geon, 5th loAva Infantry. 

*Rommell, II. A., private, 10th Iowa Infantry. 

*Ryan, W. H., private, 8th Illinois Infantry. 

Rounds, C. B. ord. sergt., 5th U. S. Infantry. 

Ray, W. R., private, 11th Indiana Infantiy. 

Rabbitt, James B., private, 1st Iowa Cavalry. 

**Rowe, F. E., private, 9th New York H. A. 

Reed, J. W., captain, 52nd Kentucky, M. Infantry. 

Ring, J. S., private, 24th Iowa Infantry. 

Robinson, T. B., corporal, 10th Illinois Cavalry. 

Robinson, nii^ani, 4th Massachusetts Infantry. 
, Robbins, T. M. 

Rollins, R. A., private, 17th Iowa Infantry. 

Ray, W. C, 2nd lieut, 151st Pennsylvania V. R. C. 

Ramey, William, private, 18th Iowa Infantry. 

Richardson, Charles, private, 60th U. S. C. Infantry. 

Ritchey, J. C, private, 1st Iowa Cavalry. 

Re^'^nolds, Silas W., private, 40th Iowa Infantry. 

Robinson, L. F., private, 16th Wisconsin Infantry. 

Riordan, Michael, private, 10th Iowa Infantrs'. 

Reynolds, Lucien, private, 33rd Iowa Infantry. 

Russell, John L., private, 1st Iowa Cavalry. 

Roberts, S. T., private, 61st Massachusetts Infantry. 

Reed, George M., private, 42nd Ohio Infantry. 

Ragsdale, George H., private, 13th Iowa Volunteers. 

**Sallada, W. H., staff ord., 57th Pennsylvania Infantry. 

Smith, C. W. 

**Transf erred. 


*****Sims, David. 
**Smith, J. M. 

Smith, A. L., sergeant, 123rd Ohio Infantry. 
St. Clair, A., 2nd lieut, 43rd U. S. C. 
Sample, George W., corporal, 1st Missouri L. A. 
Sweeney, C. H., captain, 119th Illinois Infantry. 
Sloan, J. W., private, 24th Iowa Infantry. 
**Smith, W. T., captain, 15th Iowa Infantry. 
Smith, M. H., private, 97th New York Infantry. 
Swan, Robert G., private, 3rd Ohio Infantry. 
**Scott, J. W., private, 8th Iowa Cavalry. 
Simons, Henry, dmm major, 4th Iowa Infantry. 
Shearer, John R., private, 16th Iowa Infantry. 
Shelladay, J. A., private, 5th Iowa Infantrj^ 
Shankland, J. M., 1st sergt., 161st Ohio Infantry. 
Sheldon, G. W., 1st lieut., 68th Indiana Infantry. 
Swords, H. L., major, 57th Massachusetts Infantry. 
Scanlen, M. T., private, 12th U. S. Infantry. 
Spencer, E. K., corporal, 88th Ohio Infantry. 
Simonton, Dr. A. C, 2nd lieut., 118th Indiana Infantry. 
Shannon, John D., 1st lieut., 15th Iowa Infantry. 
Shugart, Robert F., private, 21st Illinois Infantry. 
Sherman, Hoyt, major, U. S. A. P. M. 
Smith, Ed C, sergeant, 68th Indiana Infantrj^ 
**Stateler, T. K., private, 4th Misouri Cavalry. 
Stafford, T. J., sergeant, 17th Iowa Infantry. 
*Stillwell, J. R., chaplain, 79th Ohio Infantry. 
Smith, W. II. M., private, 47th Iowa Infantiy. 
Smith, Philander, private, 2nd Iowa Infantry. 
Sharp, William, private, 5th Ohio Battalion. 
Summers, J. B., private, 6th Iowa Infantry. 
Schooler, Lewis, coi-poral, 14,5th Indiana Infantry. 
Skinner, William, private, 13th loAva Infantry. 
Stuckey, J. J., private, 14th Illinois Infantry. 
Stuart, Richard, private, 26th New York Infantry. 
Saum, S. A., private, 28th Iowa Infantry. 
Sturgis, Henry B., captain, D. C. U. S. V. 
Studer, Adolph G., captain, 15th Iowa Infantry. 
Starbuck, Thomas J., private, 7th Iowa Infantry. 


**Transf erred. 
*****Mexican war and honorai-y. 


Stark, Alfred E., private, Sth Rhode Island Infantry. 

Sehell, W. J., private, 1st Iowa Infantry. 

Seller, Daniel, sergeant, llth Iowa Infantry. 

'•Smith, Eli, private, 39th Iowa Infantry. 

Stevenson, Grandson F., private, 36th Iowa Infantry. 

Spencer, George M., private, 10th Connecticut Infantry. 

Still, C. C, private, 5th Kansas Cavalry. 

Scott, E. J., private, 24th Iowa Infantry. 

Spencer, John A., private, 2nd Wisconsin Cavalry. 

Severine, John, private, llth Iowa Infantry. 

Sidener, Jospeh E., private, 113th Ohio Infantry. 

Satchell, William, private, 73rd Ohio Infantr3^ 

Smith, J. D. K., sergeant, 92nd Ohio Infantry. 

Sheeley, J. R., musician, 46th Iowa Infantry. 

Snyder, A. L., private, 12th Wisconsin Infantry. 

Scott, Thomas, 29th U. S. C. T. 

Spellman, A. G., private, 93rd Illinois Vohiuteers. 

Stiindring, John T., captain, 5th New York H. A. 

Sickels, H. H., sergeant, 19th Illinois Volunteers. 

Steadman, George, private, 31st Iowa Volunteers; 17th 
Iowa Volunteers. 

Swanagan,W. S., private, 46th Pennsylvania Volunteers. 

Snyder, H. W., sergeant, 19th Iowa Volunteers. 

Thomas, Dr. C, private, 17th Ohio; captain, 98th Ohio 

**Toll, S. L., sergeant, 2nd Iowa Infantry. 

*Tuttle, J. M., brig, gen., 2nd Iowa Infantry. 

*Thomas, Dr. M. W., surgeon, 13th Iowa Infantry. 

Tinsley, W. H., private, Chicago Board of Trade Battery 

Tinsley, T. A., lieutenant, 102nd New York S. N. 

Turner, James, private, 22nd, Ohio Infantry. 

Taylor, R. B., private, 105th Illinois Infantry. 

Taylor, J. C, private, 10th Iowa Infantry. 

Thompson, R. M., private, 42nd Ohio Infantry. 

Thomas, G. D., private, 4th West Virginia Cavalry. 

Tregea, Leonard, 1st lieut., 35th Wisconsin Infantry. 

Tuttle, Lewis F., private, 2nd Iowa Infantry. 

Trude, G. W., private, 8th Wisconsin Infantry. 

Tilden, H. W., private, llth Maine Infantrj^. 

**Transf erred. 


Toms, George W., private, .37th Wisconsin Infantry. 
Ufford, T. C, private, lltli Iowa Infantry. 
Vanliook, M. S., private, Stli Iowa Infantry. 
A'igren, Carl Peterson, private,. 1st Minnesota Infantry. 
Vanderburgh, John W., private, 9th N. Y. Volunteers. 
Waers, W. H., private, 195th Ohio Infantry. 
Witmer, J. W., sergeant, 36th Pennsylvania Infantry. 
** Walker, J. S., private, 23rd Iowa Infantry. 
Whiting, F. S., captain, 4th Iowa Cavalry. 
"Wilson, C. S. 

**Wingate, C. E., P. M. Clerk, 3rd Missouri. 
W^right, W. II., x)rivate, 34th Illinois Infantry'. 
Woriv, W. A., 1st lieut., 162nd Ohio Infantry. 
Wessel, Andrew, corporal, 28th Iowa Infantry. 
Weaver, J. B., private, 2nd Iowa lufantiy, brig. gen. 
W^ebster, G. A., private, 4th Massachusetts lufantrv. 
W^ork, W. G., lieutenant, 19th U. S. C. T. 
Wheeler, D. P., private, 126th Ohio Infantry. 
Webster, I. N., private, llGth Ohio Infantry. 
W^right, Thomas S., adjutant, 3rd Iowa Cavalry. 
Williams, .John E., private, 36th Illinois Infantry. 
Wetmore, Ira P., corporal, 13th Illinois Cavalry. 
Ward, Julius, private, 72nd Indiana Infantry. 
*Wood, Benjamin F., saddler, 1st New York L. A. 
Wasson, James E., private, 34tli Iowa Infantry. 
Wasson, -J. C. S., 1st lieut., 34th Iowa Infantry. 
W^alker, H. P., private, 47th Illinois Infantry. 
*Willett, Charles, private, 18th U. S. C. Infantry. 
Watrous, C. L., captain, 76th New Y'ork Infantry. 
Walker, James A., corporal, 4th Iowa Cavalry. 
Walker, Martin, private, 6tli Iowa Cavalry. 
Windsor, H. C, private, 1st New York Dragoons. 
*Winters, William S., ord. sergt., 15th Iowa Infantry. 
Wilson, John A., 1st sergt., 24th low^a Infantry. 
Woods, W. D. 

Williams, S. N., private, 22nd Wisconsin Infantry. 
Wright, George W., private, 16tli Iowa Infantr}^ 
W^ilcox, Walter, private, 4th Wisconsin Infantry. 
Worrell, Barney, private, 27th Iowa Infantry. 
Wagoner, Henry D., private, 6th Iowa Cavalry. 

* '"Transferred. 


Wilkens, Benjamin, wagoner, 9th Michigan Cavalry. 

Wilson, H. W., private, 7th California Infantrv. 

Wilcox, George S., private, 11th Wisconsin Infantrv. 

White, Henry H., private, 23rd New York Infantry. 

Waers, J. G., private, 1st Pennsylvania Artillery; 20th 
Ohio Artillery. 

Wells, Lewis W., private, 17th Ohio Infautiy ; lieutenant 
85th Indiana Infantry. 

Webb, Samuel, coi-poral, 145th Illinois Infantry. 

Wilcox, W. v., bugler, 8th Iowa Cavalry. 

Wertz, Elias, private, 9th Indiana Infantry. 

Walker, A. M., private. Cole's Ind. Battery. 

Wilcox, Stephen C, private, 1st Michigan Artillery. 

Weaver, James H., private, 8th New York N. G. 

Woodin, D. W., private, 3rd Michigan Cavalry. 

Ward, B. C, 1st lieut., 2nd Vermont Volunteers. 

Young, M. E., private, 40th Iowa Infantry. 

Young, Amos, corporal, 4th Indiana Batterj'. 

Yoder, S. C, private, 101st Pennsylvania Infantry. 

Yeoman, A. L., private, 128th Illinois Infantry. 

York, W. J., private, 40th Iowa Infantry. 

Zelle, Godfrey, sergeant, 2nd Iowa Infantry. 

Zinn, E. E., private, 4th West Virginia Cavalry. 

Total, 651 members. 


The following have died since the organization of the 


James H. Long, July 24, 1880. 

Dr. C. H. Eawson, June 27, 1884. 

William H. Eyan, November 11, 1884. 

H. H. Griffiths, July 20, 1885. 

W. O. Catlett, September 26, 1886. 

John D. Forgy, May 19, 1887. 

Josiah Craig, July 25, 1887. 

J. R. Stillwell, September 8, 1887. 

Dr. W. M. Thomas, October 17, 1887. 

W. H. Parker, July 1, 1888. 

J. Lee Englebert, December 22, 1888. 

Henrv Elliott, December 28, 1888. 

Joseph B. Davis, June 24, 1889. 


F. F. Metzler, August 6, 1889. 
Henrjr Eummell, April, 1890. 
, C. W. Grill, May 3, 1890. 

Edward Hannon, June 30, 1890. 

W. T. Clark, August 16, 1890. 

J. C. Parrish, September 26, 1890. 

Franklin C. Hesse, November 28, 1890. 

William S. Winters, .July 24, 1891. 

Eli Smith, February 7, 1891. 

Whiting S. Clark, April 26, 1891. 

C. B. Park, August 22, 1891. 

Samuel F. Hanna, October 4, 1891. 

Charles E. Mann, October 14, 1891. ' 

James C. De Vault, December 11, 1891. 

M. Jay Curtis, January 28, 1892. 

Farmer J. Doyle, March 4, 1892. 

Eeuben Garrett, March 20, 1892. 

James W. Jenkins, June 11, 1892. 

Fenton L. DeLoug, June 27, 1892. 

Marvin E. Luse, July 7, 1892. 

W. D. Lucas, August 1.5, 1892. 

*James M. Tuttle, October 24, 1892. 

Jacob F. Hahnen, December 15, 1892. 

Fred Beaner, August, 1893. 

Charles B. Mitchell, August 10, 1893. 

William A. Hunt, September 27, 1893. 

H. B. Mosher, December, 1893. 

John G. Blair, December 23, 1894. 

George C. Baker, March 23, 1894. 

Eev. S. S. Hunting, June 2, 1894. 

Eobert G. Swan, June 2, 1894. 

Samuel Noble, September 13, 1894. 

Carl Peterson Vigren, December 12, 1894. 

J. H. Ludlow, April, 1895. . - ., 

B. F. Woods, May, 1895. 

J. E. Hetherington, May, 1895. - 

H. P. Walker, June 23, 1895. 

James H. Weaver, November 10, 1895. 

*Past Department Commander. 



Muster roll of members of Warr Post at Mitchellvillf, 
Polk county, Iowa. 


T. Seems, M. D., commander, Mitcliellville, physician and 
surgeon, June 1, 1861, private, Company B, 5tli Pennsyl- 
vania Infantry. 

Charles Serberley, senior vice commander, Mitchellville,, 
farmer, June 1, 1864, private, Company E, 18.3rd Ohio In- 

George W. Eosenberger, junior vice commander, Mitch- 
ellville, retired farmer, August 13, 1862, private, Company 
E, 24th Iowa Infantry. 

James Walter, chaplain, Mitchellville, retired farmer, 
August 30, 1861, private, Company G, 2nd Iowa Cavalry. 

Samuel Hedrick, officer of day, Mitchellville, August 17, 
18(51, private, Company A, 23rd Missouri Infantry. 

G. S. Larimer, surgeon, Mitchellville, blacksmith, Sep- 
tember 24, 1861, sergeant, Company C, 30th Indiana In- 

J. W. Rumple, adjutant, Mitchellville, retired farmer,, 
September 30, 1861, private. Company B, 55th Ohio. 

George Heninger, Mitchellville, farmer, February 25, 
1865, Company C, 9th Illinois Cavalry. 

C. H. Keeley, Q. M., Mitchellville, retired farmer, August 
12, 1861, 2nd lieut.. Company F, 1st Missouri Cavalry. 

D. W. Fogg, sergt. major., Mitchellville, harness maker, 
May 25, 1861, private, Company E, ITth Illinois Infantry. 

Abel Carson, Mitchellville, cabinet shop. May 13, 1864, 
corporal, Company K, 170th Ohio N. G. 

B. F. Cottrell, Rolfe, la., farmer, August 30, 1861, private. 
Company D, 2nd Iowa Cavalry. 

J. W. Hoffman, Bondurant, farmei', July 25, 1862, cor- 
poral, Company B, 68th Indiana Volunteers. 

J. H. Jones, Mitchellville, merchant, June 21, 1863, pri- 
vate. Company M, 8th Iowa Cavalry. 

J. W. Jones, Mitchellville, stock dealer. May 28, 1865, 
private. Company F, 47th Iowa Infantry. 

J. W. Molone, Santiago, farmer, February 28, 1865, Com- 
pany C, 9th Illinois Cavalry. 


S. P. Oldfield, Q. M. S., Mitchellville, traveling man, Au- 
gust 19, 1862, private, Companv E, 102u(;l Oliio Infantry. 

D. C. Eussell, Mitcliellville, clerk, April 30, 1864, private. 
Company H, 132n(l Indiana Infantry. 

Asa Turner, Oldfield, farmer, January 11, 1864, 4tli 
sergt.. Company I, Sth Iowa Infantry. 

George Spader, offlcer of guard, Mitchellville, August 17, 

1861, private. Company N, 2Stli Pennsylvania Infantry. 
David Wilfong, Mitchellville, farmer, July 15, 1863, pri- 
vate. Company M, Sth Iowa Cavalry. 

Henry Voss, Mitchellville, farmer. May 14, 1861, private. 
Company G, 1st Iowa Infantry. 

Jacob Zeek, Mitchellville, laborer, December 10, 1861, 
private. Company B, 5Ttli Indiana Infantry. 

B. F. Johnson, Bondurant, farmer, August 11, 1862, 
Company B, 39th Iowa Infantry. 

William Berthroy, Mitchellville, farmer, August 30, 

1862, private. Company F, 50th N. Y. Eng. 


This large and flourishing post was organized on Febru- 
ary 15, 1878, and named in lionor of Colonel Kinsman, com- 
manding the Twenty-third Iowa Infantry, who led the his- 
toric charge at Black River Bridge, Mississippi, and died 
on the field of battle. This post is the second largest in 
tlie state, and carries on its rolls the names of many of 
the citizens of the city, county and state. It has its regu- 
lar meetings on the East Side, coimer of Sixth and Grand 
avenue. The post is noted for its lead in all good works, 
and especialy for its generous help to all needy and deserv- 
ing old soldiers. 


C. W. Nelson 1878 

W. F. Conrad 1879 

J. A. Boyer 1 880 

A. H. Botkin 1881 

W. W. Phillips 1882 

Sam V. West 1883 

B. L. Chnse 1884 

Georce H. Nichols 1885 

W. T. Wilkinson 1886 


J. A. T. Hull 1S87 

A. W. Guthrie 1888 

Park 0. Wilsou 1889 

G. W. Beall 18U0 

T. J. Doane 1891 

A. S. Carper 18!)2 

G. C. Sims 1893 

V. P. Twombly 1894 


Commander — J. J. Moore. 
Senior Vice Commander — William Brown. 
Junior Vice Commander — F. F. Blvler. 
Chaplain— W. W. Phillips. 
Surgeon — J. O. Skinner. 
Adjutant— W. O. Waldron. 
Quartermaster — J. F. Lane. 
Officer of Day— C. E. Stader. 
Officer of Guard — David Groves. 
Sergeant Major — D. S. McQuiston. 
Quartermaster Sergeant — John Shaffer. 
Sentinel — Robert McNulty. 


Atmore, E. W., 15th Iowa Infantry. 
Akers, John, 7th Iowa Infantry. 
Atchly, George W., 31th Ohio infantry. 
Anderson, John, 15th Wisconsin Infantry. 
Bolton, Leander, 47tli Iowa Infantry. 
Barrack, Joseph, 1st Iowa Infantry. 
Bryan, P. L., 34th Iowa Infantry. 
Beal, George W., 30th Iowa Infantry. 
Burns, John, Steamer Flambeau, U. S. N. 
Brown, William, 22nd Pennsylvania Infantrv. 
Botkin, A. H., 79th Ohio Infantry. 
Barrett, Alex., 60th Ohio Infantry. 
Blyler, F. P., 2nd Iowa Battery. 
Butterfield, O. W., 184th New York Infantry. 
Barcus, Samuel, 120th Indiana Infantry. 
Bunce, Dansforth, 71st Illinois Infantry. 
Burt, G. S., 2nd Iowa Cavalry. 


Bennett, H. J., 2ncl Iowa Cavalry. 
Betts, Shepard, 23rd Iowa Infantry. 
Briggs, Moore, 31st Iowa Infantry. 
Brown, P. W., 14th Iowa Inf antrj-. 
Brown, Z. A., 39tli Iowa Infantry. 
Brown, Benjamin, 42nd Ohio Infantry. 
Boatwright, David, 5th Iowa Cavalry. 
Blakesley, Joseph, 31st Iowa Infantry. 
Brockway, N. P., 19th Iowa Infantry. 
Burdick, George L., 33rd Iowa Infantry. 
Budd, C. W., 27tli Iowa Infantry. 
Boyle, William, 34th Iowa Infantrj^ 
Chase, K. L., 3rd NeAv York Cavalry. 
Carper, A. S., 50th Illinois Infantry. 
Cady, Charles, 19th Iowa Infantrj-. 
Clampitt, R. M., 39th Iowa Infantry. 
Conrad, W. F., 25th Iowa Infantiy. 
Crumhaker, J. W., 11th Illinois Cavalry. 
Carter, W. H., 93rd Illinois Infantry. " 
Cox, James H., 30th Iowa Infantry. 
Cunningham, H., 48th Indiana Infantry. 
Clinkenbeard, J. W., 9th Iowa Cavalry. 
Crawshaw, J. R., 23rd Iowa Infantry. 
Crosbie, Simon, 10th Iowa Infantry. 
Coleman, R. M. J., 113th Ohio Infantry. 
Coon, J. H., 1st Michigan Infantry. 
Chapman, Amasa, 23rd Iowa Infantry. 
Chapman, Carlos, 14th Iowa Infantry. 
Cox, Jacob H., 34t]i Iowa Infantry. 
Conrad, Edwin, 10th Michigan Cavalry. 
Christy, William, 23rd Iowa Infantry. 
Crystal, James A., 2nd Iowa Infantry. 
Cooper, C. H., 4th Illinois Cavalry. 
Corigan, Thomas, 88th Illinois Infantry. 
Colwell, Lafayette, 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry. 
Cavana, Lewis, 19th Wisconsin Infantry. 
Cochran, Jesse F., 1st Iowa Battery. 
Chrisman, L. V., 16th Iowa Infantry. 
Clements, James H., 29th Indiana Infantry. 

Christian, , 2nd Ohio Cavalry. 

Donovan, J. W., 13th Iowa Infantry. 
Deakin, J. E., 14th low^a Infantry. 


Davis, Samuel, 68th U. S. C. Infantry. 

Davis, J. B., 34tli Iowa Infantry. 

Dell, Moses, 1st Pennsylvania L. A. 

Dean, J. H., 23rd Iowa Infantry. 

Devore, David, IStli Iowa Infantry. 

Dickens, E. S., 60th U. S. C. Infantry. 

Downing, J. P., 173rd Ohio Infautrj'. 

Dilworth, Charles H., 124th Pennsylvania Infantry. 

Douglas, Clinton, 6th Massachusetts Infantry. 

Daily, J. I., 47th Iowa Infantry. 

Duulap, kS. M., 8th Iowa Infantry. 

David, Joshua, 107th Illinois Infantry. 

Dockstader, C. B., 9th Iowa Infantry. 

Deemer, Joseijh,, 10th Iowa lufautrv. 

Elwell, J. O., 123rd Illinois Infantry' 

Edniondson, Chris, 64th Illinois Infantry. 

Ellis, J. C, 16Sth Ohio Infantry. ' : i 

Elliott, S. M., 3rd Iowa Infantry. 

Fisher, ^y. H., 1st New York Eng. Cor^js. 

Fisher, Linford, 25th Ohio Infantry. 

Foster, J. C, 1st Kansas Infantry. 

Fahnestock, B. J., 15th Pennsylvania Infantry. ; 

Ferree, J. M., 130th Indiana Infantry. 

Fagan, Ezra B., 47th Iowa Infantry. 

Ford, R. E., 44th Indiana Infantry. 

Gordon, T. F., 139th Indiana Infantry. 

Green, A., 19th Iowa Infantry. '^ 

Guthrie, A. W., 13th Iowa Infantry. 

Good, Samuel, 4th Iowa Cavalry. ] 

Groves, David, 9th Iowa Cavalry. 

Gregg, J. G, 23rd Iowa Infantry. 

Gari'ett, J. C, 18th Iowa Infantry. 

Graj^, H. O., 35th Missouri Infantry. i 

Gardner, W. A., 124th Illinois Infantry. 

Gross, C. H., 9th Iowa Cavalrj^ 

Gilchrist, John F., 9th Illinois Cavalry. 

Grace, J. L., 14th Illinois Infantry. 

Humphrey, W. T. K., 44th Iowa Infantry. 

Hague, Joseph, 47th Iowa Infantry. 

Hawkins, S. E., 15th Iowa Infantry. 

Hartman, Orlando, 24th Iowa Infantry. 

Hiatt, Amos, 33rd Iowa Infantry. '. 



Havens, Jasper, 4tli Illinois CaA'alry. 

Hoopes, T. J., 120th Ohio Infantry. 

Hull, J. A. T., 23rd Iowa Infantry. 

Howard, F. A., 23rd Iowa Infantrj^. 

Henry, Charles W., 88th U. S. C. Infantry. 

Hawk, L. S., 35th Iowa Infantry. 

Howard, F. M., 23rd Iowa Infantry. 

Herring, Milton, 34th Iowa Infantry. 

Houseman, Isaiah, 100th Pennsylvania Infantry. 

Hall, A. C, 1st Illinois L. A. 

Houseman, W. H., 14th Indiana Infantry. 

Hussey, F. D., Signal Corps, U. S. A. 

Hammer, G. B., 12th Pennsylvania Cavali-y. 

Hollis, E. B., musician, 20th Illinois Infantry. 

Haines, George W., 8th Indiana Infantry. 

Haines, Jesse, 98th Ohio Infantry. 

Hushman, Emanuel, 147th Indiana Infantry. 

Halstead, Samuel, 3rd Maryland Infantry. 

Hubbard, R. G, 116th New York Infantrj^ 

Houseman, J. W., 18th Iowa Infantry. 

Haulman, Harry, 21st Pennsylvania Infantry. 

Hanah, C. E., 39th Illinois Infantry. 

Hammer, Elisha, 7th Iowa Cavalry. 
I , Hockett, I. L., 2nd Indiana Cavalry. 

Hammer, John H., 7th Iowa Cavalr3^ 

Hayward, D. L., 2nd Ohio Artillery. 
j I Iseminger, H. G., 7th Indiana Cavalry. 

I i Isham,^. M., 1st U. S. S. 

i i Jennings, Benjamin, 23rd Iowa Infantry. 

Jones, C. T., 2nd Iowa Infantry. 

Johnson, A. S., 27th Pennsylvania Cavalrv. 

Johnson, J. W., 60th Ohio Infantry. 

Jones, A. J., 23rd Iowa Infantry. 

Johnson, Lewis H., 92nd Ohio Infantry. 

Kelley, Joseph, 12th Michigan Infantry. 

Keuhner, Frank, 35th Indiana Infantry. ■■ ■ 

Kennedy, J. F., surgeon, U. S. A. 

Koons, J. H., 1st Indiana Artillery. 

Ivirkpatrick, I. G., 2nd Iowa Cavalry. 

Kimes, Jacob, 19th Iowa Infantry. ' , 

Ivuble, Frank, 98th New York Infantry. 

Kostenbader, E., 93rd Illinois Infantry. 


Kidd, Thomas C, 9tli Illinois Infantry. 

Lane, James F., IGitli Oliio Infantry. 

Lacy, T. A., 168tli Ohio Infantry. 

Luter, John, 116th New York Infantry. 

Litton, John N., 53rd Ohio Infantiy. 

Lemon, John M., 135th Pennsylvania Infantry. 

Lynch, M., 148th Illinois Infantry. 

Lee, Joseph, 45th Wisconsin Infantry. 

Lamme}^, W. N., 149th Illinois Infantry. 

Lewis, James, 4th Iowa Infantry. * 

Lutter, George, 4th U. S. Artillery. 

Martin, S. E., SGth Illinois Infantry. 

Martin, G. W., tTh Iowa Infantry. 

Martin, E. A., 14th Wisconsin Infantry. 

McCauley, C. H., 23rd Iowa Infantry. 

McGarraugh, J. D., 14th Iowa Infantry. 

McNulty, Kobert, 4tli Iowa Infantry. 

Mcl^uiston, D. S., 23rd Iowa Infantiy. 

Martindale, W. S., 92nd New York Infantry. 

Minelows, George, 93rd Illinois Infantrj'-. 

Markham, L. H., 49th New York lufantrj-. 

Manbeck, E., 39th low^a Infantry. 

Mead, Orson, 93rd Illinois Infantry. 

Moore, J. J., 9th low^a Infantrj^ 

Myers, R. R., 30th Indiana Infantry. 

Moorehead, James A., 9th Iowa Cavahy. 

Mock, Henry, 84th Indiana Infantry. 

Mitchell, F. T., 3Gth Illinois Infantry. 

Manbeck, Isaiah, 10th Iowa Infantry. 

Mattoon, L. B., 1st New York Artillery. , 

Mills, J. W., 39th Iowa Infantry. 

McMillan, J. E., 14th Iowa Infantry. 

Monnett, H. V., SGth Ohio Infantry. 

Nelson, George B., 104th Ohio Infantry. 

Novinger, Isaac, 30tli Iowa Infantr3^ 

Neidig, Samuel, 24th Iowa Infantrj^ 

Nagle, Webster, 1st Iowa Infantrj^ 

Noble, William, 23rd Iowa Infantrj\ 

Nelson, Frank, 4th U. S. Artillery. 

Oxberger, Irvin, 112th Illinois Infantry. 

Oder, Frederick, 19th Wisconsin Infantry. 

Olsen, Ole, 82nd Illinois Infantry. 


Phillips, W. W., 99th Ohio Infantry. 
Painter, J. C, 2nd Iowa InfantiT. 
Pickett, G. D., 50th Illinois Infantry. 
Pointer, W. L., 83rd Illinois Infantry. 
Preston, Shandler, 36th Illinois Infantry. 
Plummer, B. F., 16th Kansas Infantry. 
Paul, J. M., 3rd Iowa Infantry. 
Plummer, Hiram, 112th Illinois Infantry. 
Plantz, A'. A., i6th Illinois Infantry. 
Plummer, A. L., Ith Iowa Infantry. 
Payne, J. J., Sth Pennsylvania Cavalry. 
Pray, A. L., 23rd Iowa Infantry. 
Pease, G. A., S3rd Illinois Infantry. 
Eyden, C. A., 12th Illinois Infantry. 
Reel, Charles, 11th Missouri Infantry. 
Eeigart, E. H., surgeon, 35th Iowa Infantry. 
Rozelle, N. W., 123rd Indiana Infantry. 
Riddle, William, 2nd loAva Infantry. 
Robinson, Adam, lUth Iowa Infantry. 
Reeves, J. II., 92nd Ohio Infantry. 
Ring, T. R., 83rd Pennsj'lvauia Infantry. 
Reigart, C. K., 11th Iowa lufantiy. 
Reeves, Lafayette, 110th Oliio Infantry. 
Rej'ger, Thomas, 15th Iowa Infantry. 
Riddle, O. C, 20th Illinois Infantry.' 
Ross, George W., 139th Illinois Infantry. 
Rice, Peter, 16th Ohio Infantry. 
Rocbj', M. C, 33rd Iowa Infantry. 
Sims, George G, 1th Iowa Infantry. 
Swearinger, J. B., 12th West Virginia Infantry. 
Sharp, David, 18th Iowa Infantry. 
Steadman, George O., 31st Iowa Infantry. 
Shaffer, J. I-T., 112nd Pennsylvania Infantry. 
St-aves, M. C, lltli Iowa Infantry. 
Stader, C. E., 1st Louisiana Infantry. 
Stevenson, J. P., 19tli Iowa Infantry. 
Strickland, Perry, 9th Illinois Cavalry. 
Stutsman, Sol, 1st Iowa Batterj'. 
Swope, H. H., 23rd Iowa Infantry. 
Southwick, A. H., 11th Iowa Infantry. , 
Sat;e, J. R., 121st New York Infantrv.' 
Shanly, John, 39th Iowa Infantry.' 


Skinner, J. O., surgeon, lOth Iowa Infantry. 
Smith, Andrew, 4th Illinois Cavalry. 
Shimer, A. M., 4th Iowa Cavalry. 
Scott, Martin, 11th Indiana lufantiy. 
Scott, A. W., 46th Wisconsin Infantry. 
Scholes, A. J., 43rd Indiana Infantry. 
Smith, Charles P., 54th Ohio Infantry. 
Stuart, Brazil, 23rd Iowa Infantry. 
Stuart, John W., 23rd Iowa Infantry. 
Sajdor, Thomas J., 23rd Iowa Infantry. 
Swift, Fremont E., 8th Illinois Infantry. 
Swick, P. D., 1st Illinois Artillery. 
Shea, John E., 35th Iowa Infantrj^ 
Sims, F. W., 92nd Illinois Infantry. 
Shipley, William, Battery. 
Springer, O. H. P., 9th Iowa Infantry. 
Swiggert, Philip, 57th Illinois Infantrw. 
Tyron, S. W., 14th Illinois Infantry. 
Tliompson, Hiram, 45th Iowa Infantry. 
Trout, H. C, 11th Pennsylvania Infantry. 
Thurber, Frank, 39th Iowa Infantry. 
Taft, Joel, 23rd Iowa Infantry. 
Tolliver, Henry, 60th U. S. C. infantry. 
Twombly, V. P., 2nd Iowa Infantry. 
Thonuis, William, 7th Missouri Infantry. 
Tweed, N. S., 170th Ohio Infantiy. 
Updyke, Charles E., 9th Ohio Infantry. 
A'angundy, Lafayette, 14th Iowa Infantry. 
Ahorse, Mahlon, 26th Indiana Infantry. 
Walker, J. S., 23rd Iowa Infantry. 
Weems, George W., 40th Iowa Infantry. 
Worthington, C. B., 0th Wisconsin Battery. 
Wuest, Jacob, 95th New York Infantry. 
Walker, M. K., 40th Iowa Infantry. 
West, S. v., 23rd Iowa Infantry. 
Wicks, B. D., 17th Iowa Infantry. 
Weston, A. C, 36th Wisconsin Infantry. 
Wilkins, J. E., 112th Illinois Infantry.' 
Wilkinson, W. T., 1st West Virginia Cavalry. 
Wilkinson, J. S., 15th West Virginia Infantry. 
Waldron, W. O., 14th Iowa Infantry. 
Witter, W. L., 4th Iowa Cavalry. 


Waller, E., 172nd Ohio Infantry. 
Wright, Ed, major 24th Iowa Infantrj'. 
Williams, J. D., 23rd Iowa Infantry. 
Wagoner, Gideon, 34th Iowa Infantry. 
Waltz, H. E., 1st Wisconsin Cavalry. 
Webster, George P., 13th Illinois Infantry. 
Wilson, Charles, 48th Iowa Infantry. 
Wilkins, Kesin, 15th Iowa Infantry. 
Ward, Milo W., 139th Illinois Infantry. 
Williams, Shadrack, 63rd Pennsylvania Infantry. 
Winters, Isaac, 39th Iowa Infantry'. 
West, Joseph M., 40th Iowa Infantry. 
Walters, John, 40th Ohio InfantrJ^ 
Williams, James, 11th Ohio Cavalry. 
Walker, Aug. D., 23rd Iowa Infantry. 
Wagner, H. D., 6th Iowa Infantry. 


Brown, A. T., 13th Iowa Infantry. 
Berry, G. L., 8th Iowa Cavalry. 
Burch, F. A., 23rd Iowa Infantiy. 
Cully, Albert, 147th Indiana Infantry. 
Cooper, S. A., 88th Ohio Infantry. 
Carpenter, E. M., 106th New York Infantry. 
Day, William, 6th Wisconsin Infantry. 
Donner, T. J., 70th Indiana Infantry. 
DeWitt, K. M., 9th New York Artillery. 
Dodd, Albert, 45th Iowa Infantiy. 
Emmert, Jacob M., 34th Illinois Infantrj'. 
Ensminger, H. C, 71st Indiana Infantry. 
Fram, Eandolph, 70th Ohio Infantrj-. 
Foote, W. D., 9th New York Cavalry. 
Fuller, S. L., 30th Wisconsin Infantry. 
Fleming, Samuel, 15th Iowa Infantry. 
Griffith, F. M., 2nd Iowa Cavalr3^ 
Gunder, Joseph, 1st Pennsylvania Cavalrv. 
Griffith, E., 139th Ohio Infantry. 
Hamilton, R. W., 129th Ohio Infantry. 
Holmes, G. B., 1st Wisconsin Cavalrv. 
Hatfield, G. D., 58th Illinois Infantry. 
Howe, W. B., 14th Indiana Infantrv. 
Hall, Levi M., 22nd Iowa Infantry.' 


Hunter, Joseph, 211th Pennsylvania Infantry. 

Hedge, George E., 44th Iowa Infantry. 

Havens, Jasper, 4th Illinois Cavalry. 

Luddington, W. W., Sth Indiana Infantry. 

McNutt, Rober-t, surgeon, 38th Iowa Infantry. 

Miller, R. K., 14th Iowa Infantry. 

Mills, Levi W., 45th Pennsylvania Infantry. 

McCall, G. W., 6th Iowa Infantry. 

Norris, T. M., 40th Iowa Infantry. 

Reed, W. N., 10th Iowa Infantry. 

Roach, J. B., 23rd Iowa Infantry. 

Spry, G. W., 34th Iowa Infantry. 

Smith, J. A., 58th Illinois Infantry. 

Shober, Paul F., 15th New York Artillery. 

Sorrell, Nelson, Sth Pennsylvania Cavaliy. 

Wolf, J. W., 47th Iowa Infantry. 

Wilson, Park C., 30th Iowa Infantry. 

Whinery, Columbus, 16th Ohio Infantry. 

Wheaton, J. S., 39th Iowa Infantry. 



IN 1846 the first regular tax was levied and collected in 
Polk County. The total amount of this tax was |375.14. 
The tax levy of Polk County in 1894 was |1,041,155.95. 
In 1857, Will Porter was paid .pTS.SO for publishing the 
list of delinquent taxes of that year. 

In 1894, Lafe Young was paid .fl,583.80 for publishing 
the deliquent tax list of that year. 

Among the first constables of Des Moines townships 
were Samuel Dilley and Thaddeus Williams, who were 
appointed in January, 1847. 

The first dealer in ice in Des Moines was E. E. Clapp, 
and he was followed by George R. and Charles Cranston. 
Albert Grefe followed the Cranstons, and afterwards with 
his sons enlarged the business and successfully conducted 
it for a number of years. 

A. B. Fuller and P. H. Burrows claim to have made the 
first plow and first wagon manufactured in the county. 

The first drayman in Des Moines was Michael Kennedy, 
who settled here in 1855. lie followed the business for 
years, and is yet living, an honored and well to do citizen. 

The first steam power was used in the mill built by 
Charles C. Van in 1848, and the first steam power applied 
to a printing press was by John Teesdale in the Eegister 
office in 1859. 


The first stove store was opened by Jesse S. Dicks, wlio 
came to Des Moines in 1849. His son and tjTandson are 
engaged in the same business in Des Moines today. The 
senior Dicks was at times given the soubriquet of "Buggy"' 
Dicks, we learn, because he was tlie first man at his former 
home in Indiana to purchase and use one of these now gen- 
erally used vehicles. 

The first power press brought to Des Moines was an old- 
fashioned Guernsey, run by hand, and the hands operating 
it considered it a back-breaker. It was brought by T. H. 
Sypherd and used in the Citizen, now the Register office. 

Eev. Spurlock was a noted character in the early days. 
He was a preacher of the Methodist Church, but it is al- 
leged loved not only chickens, but also horses and money. 
It was time and again charged that he made or handled 
counterfeit money, and was more or less connected with 
horse thieves. But he was shrewd and could never be con- 
victed, because of the lack of evidence against him. 

According to the court record P. M. Casady was the sec- 
ond attornej^ admitted to the bar of Polk County. William 
D. Frazee was the first. William McKay and Thomas 
Baker were practicing attorneys before this, having been 
admitted in other counties. 

When Thomas Mitchell settled at Apple Grove there 
was a vast stretch of prairie to the east, and on what was 
afterwards the Iowa Gitj road not a dwelling house until 
the travelers came to Bear Grove, not far from the present 
town of Marengo. And this was only a little over fifty 
years ago! 


In the early days the County Board did not propose en- 
couraging the bringing of charges against persons before 
the Grand Jury, especially when they were of a frivolous 
character, and perhaps inspired more by malice than a 
desire for justice. Hence, under date of October 10, 1850, 
we find the following: "Ordered, that the Board, upon < 
mature deliberation, consider that no fees should be al- 
lowed to any person for serving as witness before the 
Grand Jury." This might be a good order now. 

The County seal, adopted by the County Commissioners 
April 13, 1846, was the eagle side of a half dollar. In 1851 
one, Robbins, was allowed flS.OO out of the lot fund for a 
new county seal. April 7, 1846, the District Court ordered 
that the seal of the court should be the eagle side of a 
twenty-five cent piece, American coinage. The Board of 
Supervisors for a time used the same kind of a seal. 

The first apple and peach orchard in Polk County, it is 
claimed, was set out by Eli Mosier in 1848 on what was aft- 
erwards called the Burnham Farm, now in the northwest 
portion of the city. Heavy crops of peaches were produced 
in 1855 and 1856, but the trees were killed bj^ the severe 
cold weather of January, 1857. 

It is related that the noted pomologist, James Smith, 
when he settled at an earlj' daj^ in what is now Douglas 
Township, made a temporary home for himself and son by 
excavating a hole in the side of a hill on his land, and mak- 
ing a slab door. There the father and son lived for some 
time, very snugly and not very uncomfortablj'. Near this 
they started the first nursery of frviit trees in Polk County. 

At the first sale of lots in Fort Des Moines the highest 


price paid — 1160 — was paid hj W. W. Clapp for the lot 
nearest "the point," corner of First and Elm streets. The 
lowest price paid for a lot was -flO. 

At first wood was more used than coal in town and 
county, but after a time coal came into more general use, 
though it was years before it was used to any extent for 
the puriDOse of cooking. In April, 1847, A. D. Jones pre- 
sented a bill for eightj-eight bushels of coal furnished the 
clerk's office, but the Board refused to allow it, and he had 
to appeal to the District Court for relief. This was one of 
the earliest coal deals, though it is known the soldiers dug 
and used considerable coal while here. This they obtained 
near where the dam was afterwards built, but it is stated 
their best coal was found near the corner of Barlow 
Granger's place, south of 'Coon. 

The first regular venire for petit jurors included the fol- 
lowing named persons, brought into court September 29,. 
1846: Samuel Dille, Aaron Coppick, G. B. Clark, James 
White, John Parrot, Thomas Morris, George Rivers, Eli 
Smithson, Alfred Bowman, Benjamin Frederick, Simeon 
Ballard and John Eoop. On the same day the first jury 
trial in Polk County was had with eleven jurors, Benjamin 
Frederick being unwell. 

William Lamb is credited with having built one of, if 
not the first, dwelling houses in the county. It was located 
on Agency Prairie, not far from the presentpacking houses. 

During the administration of Byron Rice as County 
Judge, he organized the counties of Hardin and Story. The 
former he divided into two townships, Washinton and Kos- 


vsutli, and the latter into two, named Scott and Pierce, 
after the then tAvo candidates for President. In 1852 Polk 
<Jount3' had jurisdiction, for election and revenue purposes, 
over nearly all Northern and Western Iowa, except Dallas 
and Boone Counties. 

The second stock of drugs ever brought to Des Moines 
was by W. W. Moore, who started a new drug store on Sec- 
ond street, below Vine. 

It is stated that two negro women were held as slaves 
in Fort Des Moines. This statement is that Joseph Smart, 
the at that time well known interpreter for Major Beach, 
the Indian Agent, purchased two slave women in Missouri 
and brought them to the agency, where he held them for 
some time as his slaves. He afterwards took them South 
and there sold them, though Chief Justice Mason of the 
Territorial Court had previously held that if a master 
brought his slave into Iowa Territorj^ he therebj^ lost all 
ownership or control over said slave. 

W. W. Moore, locating in Des Moines in 1847, was for 
many yeai'S a merchant, having a large store called "The 
Hoosier," on Second street, and afterwaixls on Walnut, 
near Fourth. He owned the lots on the southeast corner of 
Walnut and Fourth, and upon this corner built the first 
regular theatre or opera house. This is now the Wonder- 
land Museum. Mr. Moore yet owns the most of this valu- 
able property. He has also been interested in the Grand 
Opera House, and has for years contr(dled the bill posting 
of the city. He now has control of the Wonderland Mu- 
seum, and also operates a book and news room in the 


Mrs. Nettie Sanford, in lier Early Slvetches, says that 
in early days tlie prairie schooner was the bed and boarding- 
place until the pioneer cabin was bnilt, which generally 
measured about fourteen feet square. Logs Avere split foi 
puncheon floors and sometimes Mother Earth was left t(^ 
bare her bosom to the shai"p toes of split-bottomed chairs 
and pole bedsteads. A dry goods box with two or three 
shelves was the pantry. This often tried the nerves of the 
housekeeper, as the dishes rebelled at the small cribbing 
up and dashed to the floor in the most rebellious fashion. 
Sometimes there were four panes of glass in the window 
of the cabin, but if there were no glass the good housewife 
greased a paper, oftentimes an old letter and covered the 
window ajjerture, emitting a soft translucent light, favor- 
able to brunettes. In the fireplace of the cabin blazed a pile 
of logs or a chunk fire by the door in summer, where the 
camp kettle and skillet did service, and left the cabin cool 
and comfortable. 

It is stated the first shoemaker was Nathaniel Campbell,, 
who in 1845 had a shop in a log cabin which stood where is 
now Ewing & Jewett's lumber yard, and where the new- 
market house is planned to be. 

For lack of regular pipe Peter Newcomer used bark for 
stove pipe when he first built his cabin on Agency Prairie. 
Subsequently he came near losing his home by reason of 
his bark getting on fire. 

When first established the postoffice here was called 
'Raccoon River." 

Two of the most valuable lots in the city at this time 
were put up on the Presidential election of 1848. A Demo- 


crat then holding a county office bantered a Whig business 
man to wager a lot he had purchased against one the latter 
had made a payment upon, that Lewis Cass would be elect- 
ed President. The Whig took him up and won. According 
to agi'eement the Democrat paid what was due the county, 
some .$40, on the lot, and then deeded it to the Whig. The 
latter, caring little for the lots, offered them to his brother 
for the original cost from the county and gave him his OAvn 
time to pay for them. The brother took the lots and in a 
few years they added materially to his wealth. The lots 
today would sell for a considerable fortune. 

Hon. Joseph Williams, one of the early Territorial and 
State Judges, was one of the most jovial of men and at the 
same time a strict "teetotaller." In going the judicial 
rounds in each county he had the following pledge re- 
corded, and induced as many as possible of the members 
t)f the bar, coui't officials, and others to sign it: "We, the 
undersigned, hj hereunto setting our names, pledge our 
sacred honor, each to the other, that we will abstain from 
all intoxicating drink as a beverage." This was at a time 
Avhen drinking among the members of the bar was more 
common perhaps than at this day, and the Judge's pledge 
no doubt did much good, even if it was often broken. Judge 
Williams was a fine scholar, a wit and humorist, and the 
life and soul of a feast or social party. He was also a 
musician who could plaj^ almost any instrument. He lived 
for many years at Muscatine, but being appointed a United 
States Judge in Kansas, became a resident of that Terri- 
tory and State, and died there some years ago. "Judge 
•Joe," as he was familiarly called, was a prominent and 
much loved man in the early days of Iowa. 

Major Hoyt Sherman in 1850 attended a judicial sale 


of the Pursley estate, with the intention of purchasing one 
of the five-acre tracts if the bidding did not go beyond Ms 
means. He went early and Judge J. C. Jones, guardian of 
the minor heirs, asked him to act as clerk of the sale for the 
sum of |5. When the tract the Major wanted was offered 
he bid, but others bid also. He had placed his limit at flOO 
and some other man bid this amount. The Major stopped, 
but soon concluded to add his day's work, bid -f 105 and got 
the land. He, years afterwards, built his residence \\\i(n\ it, 
owns it now, and the land is now worth close to .$50,000. 

It is claimed that the first white child born in the county, 
and in the territory which is now a part of the city, was 
that of J. M. Thrift and wife, and Thrift was the first tailor 
in the town, coming here with the soldiers. 

In the records of the District Court of Polk County lor 
the May term, 1849, we find the following entries: 

"On motion, Barlow Granger produced to the court a 
certificate given by three judges of the Supreme Court of 
the State of Iowa, licensing him to practice in the Supreme 
Court and the District Courts of this State, which certifi- 
cate being satisfactory to the court, Barlow Granger ap- 
peared in open court and took the oath required by law. 

"Hoyt Sherman presented to the court a certificate 
granted by the Supx*eme Court, licensing him to practice 
in the Supreme and District Courts, which being satis- 
factory to this court, Hoyt Sherman appeared in open court 
and took the oath required by law." 

Isaac Cooper was not a shoemaker, and yet to him is 
awarded the claim of having made the first pair of shoes 
put together in Polk County. Winter was coming on, his 
children's feet were bare, shoemakers and leather scarce, 
and out of the discarded saddles of officers of the Fort he 
procured leather from which he made the shoes. Cooper 


says be never purchased of a merchant such durable shoes, 
though there may have been more handsome ones. 

Taylor Pierce, a well known citizen and early settler, 
who was much among the Indians, says the latter called 
the vicinity of Des Moines Ase-po-lo, which means Raccoon. 
The river was called Ase-po-lo-sepo, sepo meaning river. 
Des Moiues River was called Keosauqua always, from its 
source to its mouth. The words mean dark, or inky, and 
originated probably from the drainage into it of the char- 
red, blackened debris from burned prairies. The Indians 
spoke of the Des Moines River as "Keosauqua sepo." If 
coming to Des Moines and asked, their answer would be: 
"Posse puckachee Ase-po-lo," meaning, "We are going to 
the Raccoon." 

Luther D. Johnson, a young lawyer of much promise, 
came to Des Moines from Iowa City, in the spring of 1850, 
to take charge of the Iowa Star, which had been established 
the year previous by Barlow Granger. During the summer 
he Avas called back to Iowa City by the serious illness of 
his brother. Then he himself was taken sick and died. 
The Des Moines Bar subsequently passed appropriate reso- 
lutions and wore mourning for thirtjr days. 

Dr. H. H. Saylor came to Polk County in 1846 and located 
in a cabin on Sajdor bottom, where he commenced thc^ 
practice of medicine. He afterwards practiced in Des 
.Moines for many years and up to his death. He built one 
of the first brick residences in the town on Front street, 
below A'ine. 

In the fall of 1846 J. J. McCall, of Camp Township, made 
a contract with Ballard to haul hisc(u*n to Fort Des Moines, 


Ballard to have himself one load of corn for every load he 
hauled to the Fort. 

The first peddler's license was issued January 7, 1847, 
to William Forsythe, allowing him to peddle goods or mer- 
chandise in Polk County for three months upon the pay- 
ment of .|7.50. He must have been delinquent, as on the 
same date P. M. Casady was allowed $5.00 for professional 
services in the case of Polk County vs. William Forsythe, 
before Squire Meachem. 



AS WE grow older our hearts turn backward at times to 
the pleasures aud associations of youth, when "hope 
"was 3'oung and life was all abloom." Toda)^ I have 
been living over again the scenes of thirty and thirty-five 
years ago, with the society of loved ones, some of whom are 
now gone forever, who were the very life and light of every 
social event. 

In 1859 and 18G0 Des Moines was a small village of be- 
tween two thousand and three thousand inhabitants, with 
no railroad nearer than Iowa City, a distance of a hundred 
and Mtj miles. Those who came here in a stage coach 
well remember their experiences, some of which were 
thrilling. Then everybody knew everybody else, and every 
party was made up of all the young people, married and 
single (there were very few old persons in town then), and 
every stranger who came as a visitor was hailed with de- 
light, because he or she swelled our numbers, and jolly 
good times we used to have. 

About the first person of the procession who looms up to 
memory's view was the Episcopal rector, Dr. Peet. Always 
cheery, even humorous, he carried sunshine Avith him aud 
was ever a welcome visitor. It was the fashion in those 
days to have surprise parties, and one could be aiTanged 
for on short notice, because there was no need of much 

Dr. Peet lived about a mile north of town on the river 


road, as we used to call it, now First street. His house 
is gone and the place laid out in lots, so that we can hardly 
find it. Then he had one of the coziest homes in town, 
made bright and cheerful by himself, his good wife and 

One winter night we planned a surprise partj^ on them 
and started out full of glee, a goodly company — -carrying 
our supper with us. The snow lay thick upon the ground 
and the sleighing was fine. Mr. Hoyt Sherman took his 
two-seated sleigh aild fast stepping bays, and away we 
sped to the music of the bells; Mrs. Sherman, Mrs. B. F. 
Allen and the writer occupied the back seat, while Mr. 
Sherman and the driver were in front. Mrs. S. was carry- 
ing, very carefullj^, a pail of cream and Avatching the 

All went merrily until we came to the "bad place," a 
very narrow strip of road bordering on the river bank ou 
one side and a steep bank on the other, so that if the sleigh 
should swerve but a few inches, over we would go, and 
being so narrow there was no room to turn out if we should 
meet another team. Altogether we felt rather nervous and 
"scarry," and were holding oiir breaths till we should pass 
this dreadful place, when all of a sudden we missed Mrs. 
Allen, and looking back saw her sitting in the snow in the 
middle of the road ! We halted and Mr. S. went back to her 
and after some arguing and coaxing got her back into 
the sleigh, although she declared she would "rather walk 
any time." ' ' . ■ , ■ ■ 

We drove on and soon reached our destination in safety. 
The house was brilliantly lighted, and there was a great 
wood fire in the fireplace, which I can see now, with a groujj 
of friends standing around, who welcomed us with real old- 


fashioned hospitality. How we did enjoj' that supper, and 
the games and charades that followed. 

There was Col. and Mrs. S. F. Spoiford, Col. and Mrs. 
E. F. Hooker, Mr. C. W. Keyes, Mr. and Mrs. John 
Mitchell, Misses Ella and Abbie Mitchell, Miss Kate 
Stanley, Mary and Lucy Love (Mary was Miss Ella 
Quick's mother). Judge and Mrs. Rice, Mr. and Mrs. 
Finch, Miss Mary Calder (Mrs. Rice's sister), Mr. 
and Mrs. John A. Kasson, Mr. and Mrs. Ira Cook, Warren 
and Tac Hussey, Lizzie and Abbie Cleveland, Mr. and Mrs. 
Thomas F. Withrow, Mr. J. B. Stewart, W. S. Pritcliard, 
the Callanans and Ingliams, the Reeds, Terrys and our 
party, and many more who have slipped from memory. 

Dr. Peet was a good story teller, and could keep "the 
table in a roar" any time with humorous stories. Mai)y 
associations cluster around his memory; weddings, chris- 
tenings and funerals in that little old church on Seve]ith 
street, where Mrs. Kasson used to play the organ and Mrs. 
Sherman and Mrs. Keyes to sing. 

One of the "oldest young men" was Col. S. F. Spofford 
(who now sleeps in Woodland), "mine host" of the old "De- 
Moine" house, that stood on the corner of First and Walnut 
streets. He had the finest turnout of fast going, black 
horses and a big sleigh, and he used to take turns in giving 
everybod)' a ride. Sometimes he would get a big wagon- 
bed, put it on runners, fill it up with a gay party and drive 
through the streets and out to somebody's house in the 
countiy, get supper and have a dance, and then go home 
singing, "We Won't Go Home Till Morning." 

Mr. O'Kell, who afterwards married Mary Teesdale, was 
the wit of the company, and often convulsed us with his 
mock schoolboy speeches. Many a pleasant evening was 
passed at the old De Moine House, where O'Kell, Col. Spof- 


ford and Charlie Spofford were the leading spirits. And 
here we are reminded of Billy Woodwell, another wit. He 
still lives in Pittsburg, and his daughter, Mrs. Reece Stew- 
art, lives here. He is a cousin of Mrs. John Mitchell and 
Mrs. Mott. Mrs. Mitchell visited him this summer and 
reported him well and as jolly as ever. His sister. Miss 
Gerty Woodwell, married John H. Stewart, who was Con- 
sul to France. She was a beautiful girl, and he was a pol- 
ished gentleman. Both died abroad within a few years of 
■each other. 

We did not have many concerts or theatres. Occasion- 
ally a stray troupe of actors or a lecturer would come this 
way, but we generally got up our own entertainments. Mr. 
Jocelyn, the Methodist minister, gave a series of lectures 
one winter that were well attended. 

One of our pleasures in summer, was to get up a party 
and drive out to "Swans," a few miles southwest of town. 
There we always found a good supper and music for danc- 
ing. And then those drives by moonlight! No matter 
whether we lost our waj, and run into sloughs or trees or 
upset, the glamour of youthful romance was over it all, and 
nothing was serious then. 

How well I remember one summer night, after we had 
stayed in the house as long as we could, some of us started 
out to serenade our friends. There were Mr. and Mrs. D. 
O. Finch, Mary Calder, J. B. Stewart, W. S. Pritchard, 
George O'Kell and myself. We had a three-stringed guitax, 
a tin-pan and a flute, coarse comb with paper wrapped 
around it, an accordeou and a sheet of music rolled up for 
a horn. Mr. Finch and Mr. O'Kell took the lead across the 
open lot where Kurtz's bakery and the rest of the buildings 
in the rear of Lkhty's drug store now stands. Mr. Sher- 
man's house stood facing on Walnut street, where the drug 


store is, aud Judge Eice lived exactlj^ opposite on Locust 
street, wliere tlie book store building stands. Their houses, 
by the way, were built at the same time and exactly alike. 
Judge Eice moved his house up near Twelfth and Locust, 
where he now lives. Mr. Sherman's house was burued about 
1873. Our serenading partj^ stopped in front of Judge 
Eice's and gave one of the best selections, and was re- 
warded by a bunch of onions, and because we didn't go 
away with that Mrs. Eice threw out an old calico wrapper, 
which Mr. O'Kell put on aud made much fun for us, as 
a very shy old maid, who was dreadfully shocked by Mr. 
Finch's advances. From here we went over to Mr. Allen's, 
who liA'ed on Court avenue (where the Aborn House is uoav), 
aud after some more fine selections Mrs. Allen threw out 
a withered bouquet of flowers, over which the prima 
donnas quarreled until we laughed heartily, when we all 
went home. 

Can we ever forget our first fancy dress party? It 
was giA'en at Mr. Edwin Sanford's, who liA^ed on Seventh 
street, below Mulberry street. There were some fifty or 
sixty invitations issued (that was about all the society 
people there were here then), and a great event it was. We 
prepared our costumes with much secrecy, and great was 
the surprise when we unmasked. Mr. Sherman was a 
Chinaman, Wesley Eedhead an Esquimaux, B. F. Allen 
a Turk, Mr. O'Kell a sailor, who called off the cotillions, 
"Ladies to larboard, gents to starboard," in true nautical 
stjde. Mr. C. W. Keys was Brother Jonathan, Mrs. Sher- 
man was Mrs. Partington, and Jed Warner her son Ike, 
Mrs. John A. Kasson was Pocahontas, the Indian Maiden, 
whom she represented well, with her long black braids, gay 
dress and feather trimmed leggings. Mrs. Judge Eice ap- 
peared as Kitty Clyde, "with her basket to put in her fish,'" 


while tlie Judjie followed her with a huge codfish hanging 
down his back as a take-off; Mrs. Allen was a Spanish 
gypsy, Mary Calder, Morning, Bina Moulton, Night, Miss 
Fanny McCain, Walter McCain's sister, who died years ago, 
a lovely young blonde, was also Night. Miss Jennie Chit- 
tenden was a flower girl, Mr. Friday Eason a soldier. The 
house was full of these strange characters, and just as fun 
and frolic was at its height, all were suddenly liushed 
and amazed by the appearance of four ghostly looking in- 
dividuals led by another, who introduced the party as the 
"Hard Family" — a take-off on the Hart Family, who had 
recently given a concert in town. The leader arranged 
the men in a row and beating time vigoroiislj^ with a dust 
brush, saying "sing'' and they "sang" the most doleful, 
lugubrious tune we ever heard. It suggested "Hark, from 
the Tombs,'' sure enough. The quartette consisted of B. 
F. Allen, Hojt Sherman and Mr. Sanford, with Mr. Keyes 
for leader. That evening was a gerat event in Des Moines 
social life — because it was the first of the kind. 

We had some dramatic talent in those early days. Dur- 
ing the winter of '59 and '60 the writer taught in the first 
High School in the place. Among her pupils were Hon. H. 
Y. Smith, Mr. P. G. Noel, now a prosperous banker of To- 
peka, Kan.; Mr. Charles Green, who still lives here; Miss 
Louise Napier, a beautiful brunette (since Mrs. Ham 
Brown); Miss Rachel Winters, who was quite a belle. 
"Hy" Smith was one of our most talented young men at 
that time (he was about seventeen). He was fond of the 
drama, and got up some scenes from the "Lady of the 
Lake," quite creditably. Rachel Winters was the Lady, 
and he was James Fitz James, her spirited lover. His 


" Come one, come all, this rock shall fly 
From its base as soon as I," 


quite brought down the house — Sherman Hall, corner of 
Second street and Court avenue — which was filled two 
nights to hear it. 

Later on when our town library, which has grown to 
such proportions, and which Mr. Smith was instrumental 
in starting, needed a benefit, we got him to take the char- 
acter of Claude Melnotte in the "Lady of Lyons," with Miss 
Florence McKay as Pauline. Mrs. James C. Savery was 
Pauline's haughty mother, while the writer was Claude's. 
This was another success, and Moore's old hall was filled 
two nights. I shall never forget the scene where the 
mother welcomes her son, and proceeds to give him some 
supper. The teapot was empty, and all efforts to make it 
appear otherwise were in vain, and as she tipped it up, 
in the act of pouring out the tea which never came, we 
heard Mrs. Allen's musical voice laugh from the audience, 
which made us realize the absurdity of the situation. But 
we were all friends, and lack of detail was considered ama- 
teurish and the more charming. The library netted a 
handsome sum, and that was the great object. 

Old folks' concerts were very popular at one time, and 
many were the "stars" brought out in them. We gave one 
for "Bleeding Kansas," in which every one that took part 
was a star, and some who couldn't even sing were in cos- 
tume. Mrs. Webb Mills (now Mrs. E. R. Clapp) took lead- 
ing part as soprano, and Mrs. Hoyt Sherman; the latter 
sang "Barbara Allen" to Mr. Hatton's violin accompani- 
ment, which was encored loudly. Then the public tab- 
leaux and charades, for church and other benefits, were 
a great feature. Some of them were decidedly realistic, 
especially "Blue Beard's Wives," the execution of Mary, 
Queen of Scots, and the burning of Joan of Arc at the 


We had no fire department in those days, and when 
a fire broke out, we all assisted in extinguishing it. One 
cold winter night we heard the cry of "fire," and all rushed 
out to see where it was, and found that the new Savery 
House (noAV the Kirkwood) was on fire. The women and 
children formed in line and passed the pails of water that 
some of the men drew from the wells on to those who 
threw it on the fire, and so extinguished it. The dining 
room of this hotel, by the waj^, was where we held our 
dancing parties for a long time. 

New Year's calls were a gTeat feature; when everj^body 
called on everybody who kept open house. This promis- 
cuous calling became wearisome, to say the least; the 
ladies got tired of waiting on droves of strangers whom 
they never saw before and never expected to see again, 
and so one after another closed their doors on New Year's 
day, and gradually the calls ceased, and up to this date 
liave not been revived. 

The cards that the young men got up in those days were 
curiosities, if not monstrosities. They vied wdth each other 
as to who should ^ave the largest and most absurd cari- 
catures of themselves. The young ladies Avho could secure 
the greatest number of these cards were happy. 

As the town gTew larger, society became more formal 
and exclusive; surprise parties were replaced by recep- 
tions and dinner parties. Amateurs retired from the stage, 
professionals taking their place, and society became di- 
vided, first into church circles and cliques, which in turn 
evolved the general societj^ we have now. • 

Among the pleasant "evenings at home" in the early 
seventies were those given hy Mr. and Mrs. Thomas ITat- 
ton, who lived where the U. P. Church now stands, corner 
of Seventh and Grand avenue. We were always sure of a 


good time there, for tliey not only had a musical treat in 
store for ns, of their own, but we were sure of meeting- 
some musical or literary celebrity, if there were any in 
town. Mrs. Hatton was a fine pianist and Mr. H. often ac- 
companied her with his violin; Miss Nellie Reeder was one 
of the finest pianist we ever had, and she would sometimes 
play for us, and others since famous, were there and sang. 
Our own church choir, with V. C. Taylor organist, Mrs. 
Childs, Mrs. Mosher, Joe Sharman or Mr. Moody gave ns 
exquisite quartettes, solos and duets. Marshall Talbott, 
the artist, would sometimes be there, reminding us of King- 
Lear (wliich he personated well), Avith his long white hair 
and beard. 

Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Griffiths, who lived in East Des 
Moines at that time, used to give the most delightful dinner 
parties. How well I remember the faces around their hos- 
pitable board: The Kassons, the Aliens, the Shermans, 
"Friday" Eason, Mr. Miller, Mr. Luut, Mrs. Keene (since 
Mrs. Sypher), Wheeler Carpenter and his good father and 
mother, long since gone to their rest; Mr. and Mrs. Frank 
Mills, Mr. and Mrs. Webb Mills and many more. Then 
there were the Callanans and Inghams, the Nourses, the 
Robertsons, the Reeds, the Williamsons, the Hulls, the 
Cattells, the Elliotts and the Hepburns, the Lyons, the 
Deweys. Everybody remembers Major Kavanagh, with 
his polite smile and bow; he Avas a very large and fine look- 
ing man, whose best friend Avas little Mr. Hanna. These 
two would go about together Aasiting schools and other 
places, entirely unconscious of exciting- any comment by 
the difference in their size. Both have gone to their rest, 

too. , ■ ■: 1 ■ ,■' ■■ 

The greatest social eA^ent up to that date or since AA'as the 
party g-iven by Mr. and Mrs. B. F. Allen, when they moved 


into their uew house on Terrace Hill, where Mr. F. M. Hub- 
bell now lives. It was on January 28th, 1871, and the 
whole town was invited and looking forward to the great 
event. The great house was crowded; everj'body went, if 
they never went to a partj^ before. There were members 
of the legislature, strangers from out of town, even from 
the East. There was music, feasting and dancing; brilliant 
faces and handsome gowns, and many stayed until the wee 
small hours. The newspapers said next day that it was 
the greatest social event west of the Mississippi; that a 
caterer from Chicago furnished the refreshments, and 
that the flowers and decorations alone cost a thousand dol- 
lars. The Aliens were in the height of their prosperity 
then, and Mrs. Allen Avas the leader in society. She was 
a lovely woman, kind and genial and unspoiled by her 
wealth. Her friends were numbered by hundreds, and all 
felt sorrj"- when she and her family moved to Chicago, and 
grieved as for a personal friend when she died. She, too, 
lies in Woodland, with so many of her and our dear friends 
— Mrs. Sherman, Mrs. Hatton, Mrs. Savery, Mrs. Ingersoll 
— all leaders in society and charming women. 

The writer has kept a list from memorj' of the personal 
friends who have died, and those who have moved away 
from Des Moines, since the early sixties, and when counted 
up, there are nearly seven hundred moved a,waj, and nearly 
three hundred who have died, making a grand total of 
nearly one thousand friends and acquaintances, who have 
been taken right out of one's life, as it were. But there 
are still some of the older society left here; the Griffiths, 
the Casadys, the Hippees, the Shermans, the Tuttles, the 
Husseys, the Stewarts, the Cooks, the Clapps, the Robert- 
sons, the Hubbells, the McCains, the Polks, the Eices, the 
AV rights, the Wests, the Talbotts, the Rawsons and many 


more who have come to Des Moines from time to time, but 
who properly belong to a more recent date. The memory 
of those good old times will remain with us forever. 

" You may break, yon may shatter the vase, if you will, 
The scent of tlie roses will cling to it still." 


COUNTY AND CITY, 1865 TO 1875. 

THE war being over, during the few years following 
times were what is sometimes termed flush, and both 
city and county enjoyed what in later times was 
called a "boom." One cause of this was that during 
the war thousands of men had become soldiers. 
They had for a few years participated in dan- 
gers and stirring adventures. They had been away 
from, and to a large extent, had broken away from 
their former home attachments and surroundings. 
New hopes, new desires and ambitions had been aroused 
in them, and after months and years of military service 
they could not contentedly settle down in their old homes 
and quietly pursue the occupations they had left at tlie 
time of their enlistment into the army. The return of 
peace brought to many of them restlessness and a desire 
for a change of residence, if not of occupation. Many of 
those in the East during their soldier life had visited the 
West or become more or less acquainted with Western 
men. They heard of the openings for young and middle 
aged men in the West, and they heard of Iowa as one of 
the very best of what were then temied the Western 

Under the foregoing circumstances it was but natural 
that Iowa should attract at that time within her borders 
many thousands of the soldiers of the Union and even hun- 
dreds of those who had served in the Confederate ranks. 
And chief among the attractions of Iowa were the County 
of Polk and City of Des Moines. In the five years following 


the war the immigration from this source into the county 
and city was verj;- heavj^, and with the old soldiers came 
many others who had not been in the militaiy service. 
Those who came first, being pleased with the country and 
the prospects before them, naturally attracted others from 
their old homes in other States. The influence of new set- 
tlers in this half of a decade, 1865-1870, was a verj' notice- 
able one and among them came a large number of the 
prominent citizens of today in county and city. The larger 
part of these neAV citizens were young men and women, 
or others in the prime of life, and they soon adapted them- 
selves to their new surroundings and commenced to labor 
for tlieir own advancement and the betterment of the com- 
munity of which the}^ soon formed a goodly part. 

The figures giving the population show this rapid in- 
crease: Polk Countj^ in 1865 had a population of 15.244; 
in 1867, 22,630; in 1869, 26,408; in 1870, 27,857. Tlie City 
of Des Moines had a population in 1865 of 5,722; in 1867, 
10,511; in 1870, 12,035. The City of Des Moines more than 
doubled its population in the live years immediateh' follow- 
ing the Civil War. The next five years show much less 
gain. In 1875 Des Moines had increased to only 14,443 in 
pojiulation. Among the leading citizens of Des Moines aiid 
the count,y today who have been or are now engaged in 
active business in town or agriculture and other pursuits 
in the country, it will be found a proportionately large 
number of them settled here during these five years. 

Then following the war saw the advent of railroads into 
the county and citj', adding immensely at once to the 
growth and prosperity of botli, and to all classes of busi- 
ness, giving as they did our people immediate and close 
connection with the cities and towns of the East and Soutli. 
The city and county had to Avait many years beyond 


their first expectation for the advent of a completed rail- 
road. As mentioned in another chapter the citizens had 
frequently been deceived by promises, which were not ful- 
filled in letter or spirit. The financial troubles of the latter 
fifties had stopped the extension of the two roads pointing 
toward Des Moines, and during the war period not many 
extensions of railroad lines were made in Iowa. But when 
the war was ended and "flush times" followed in its wake, 
at last new life was given to railroad construction. The 
great Union Pacific Kailroad across the Continent was not 
only surveyed and platted, but actual work commenced 
upon its construction. Several roads across Iowa com- 
peted as to which would be the first to make a connection 
with the great railroad for which the general government 
was granting millions of acres of land and other millions 
of dollars in bonds. The now Northwestern Railroad was 
rapidlj'' constructed, and for a time it was hoped it would 
be diverted with its main line to pass through Des Moines, 
but this movement was a failure and it passed on a few 
miles north of the Polk County line. 

The sole dependence of the city and count}^ for a main 
east and west line was then upon the old Mississippi and 
Missouri Railroad Company, which had stopped construc- 
tion for years at Iowa City, and had later on slowly pushed 
its way west from there in a halting, hesitating manner. 
Finally in 1866 the old company becoming bankrupt new 
men took hold and a new company was organized under 
the name of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Rail- 
road Company. Then work was pushed, the whole line was 
let through to Council Bluifs, and on Monday, September 
9, 1867, the first regular passenger train on this road ran 
into Des Moines. The road through to Council Bluffs was 
opened for trafiic in June, 1869. / ■ • : '. 


But this was not the first railroad opened to Des Moines. 
The Des Moines Valley Eailroad had been for years strug- 
gling up the valley from Keokuk, and in war times was 
opened to Eddyrille. Then toward the close of the war 
new vigor came to this line. It was rapidly pushed on to 
Oskaloosa, Pella, Prairie City, and then a bold and rapid 
push was made for Des Moines, and the result was that 
it led them all into this county and city. On August 29, 
ISGG, the first passenger train on this road and the first 
railroad train ever here, reached Des Moines and was given 
a most hearty and enthusiastic reception. At last, after 
a weaiy waiting of many years, Des Moines had a railroad 
connection with the East. The daj's of stage coaches and 
freight wagons were gone, never to return. The effect upon 
the business of the city and county was at once apparent. 
The advent of the railroad was the commencement of a 
new era. 

Among the public buildings erected during this decade 
was the State Arsenal, built of iron, brick and red rock 
stone, two stories high, with marble floor and iron stair- 
ways. This was erected on West Fi'ont street in 1867, an 
appropriation having been previously made for the same 
by the General Assembly, through the representations and 
influence of the then popular Adjutant General Baker. 
Here were placed the arms and military records of the 
State, together with the flags and many other trophies 
of the war. The flags have since, by the order of the Gen- 
eral Assembly, been placed in the Capitol, where they can 
now be seen, preserved in glass cases. 

Here, when A\'Titing of the State Arsenal, may be a fitting 
place to write of Nathaniel B. Baker, than whom no man 
that ever lived in Iowa was more loved. He was born Sep- 
tember 29, 1818, in New Hampshire. Prepared for college 


at Phillips Academy he entered Cambridge, graduating in 
the class of 1839. He then studied law with Franklin 
Pierce, afterwards President, and others, and was admitted 
to the bar in 1842, but soon connected himself with news- 
paper work. In 1845 he was appointed Clerk of the Court 
of Common Pleas, and the next year promoted to Clerk of 
the Supreme Court for his home county. In 1852 he re- 
signed the clerkship and re-entered the praetice of law. 
In 1852 and 1853 he was a representative from Concord, 
and Speaker of the House both terms. In 1854 he was 
elected Governor of New Hampshire, and his administra- 
tion was characterized by the promptness, energy and 
liberality so characteristic of the man. In 1856 he removed 
to Iowa, settling in the young city of Clinton, where he 
followed his profession. He was elected a member of the 
General Assembly as a Democrat and served in tlie House 
in the regular session of 1860, at once taking high rank 
among the members. 

Jnlj 25, 1861, he was appointed by Governor Kirkwood 
Adjutant General, and at once entered upon the discharge 
of the onerous duties of the office. His energy, administra- 
tive ability and generous enthusiasm made him the one 
beloved by the soldiers of Iowa, and gave to Mm a glorious 
name far beyond the limits of the State. He was not only 
great, but always good, a generous, great-hearted man. 
After the war was over he continued his deep interest 
in the soldiers, and would always give kind words, and if 
need be, his last dollar to one of "my boys." And when the 
settlers in Northwestern Iowa were suffering from the 
ravages of grasshoppers. Gen. Nathaniel Baker came 
quickly to their relief, and by his energy and organizing 
capacity, and touching appeals to the people, soon had food 
and other supplies in the homes of the sufferers. He orig- 


inated and carried out promptly this help for them. Gen. 
Baker held the office of Adjutant General until his death 
in Des Moines, September 13, 187G. The people of the State 
universally mourned his death, and his funeral was one 
of the most imposing and at the same time caused more 
general sorrow and regret than almost any other ever held 
in the city or State. He lies buried in Woodland Cemetery 
under a monument erected hj his fellow citizens, guarded 
by cannons donated for this purpose by the government he 
had so well and faithfullj^ served. 

In the acute and generous mind of Adjutant General N. 
B. Baker originated a scheme Avliich resulted in the great- 
est reunion of old soldiers ever held in Iowa or any other 
State. Gen. Baker enlisted others in the work, and secur- 
ing an endorsement and appropriation from the General 
Assembly of 1870, arrangements upon a large and gener- 
ous scale were made for a grand reunion of the soldiers 
at Des Moines, commencing August 30, 1870, and continu- 
ing several days. It was made an extraordinary success 
through the executive ability of Gen. Baker, the prompt 
and efficient help of others, and the generous liberality 
of the citizens of Des Moines and of the State general]}''. 
At the time it was estimated that there were at one time 
7.5,000 people present, of whom at least 30,000 had been 
soldiers. Gen. W. T. Sherman was present and received 
a hearty welcome. Biit it was the privates who swept the 
field with their uiimbers and enthusiasm. 

The churches and other public buildings were thrown 
open for the crowds, while arrangements had been made 
for the accommodation of old soldiers in tents. Thou- 
sands of them camped by companies and regiments on the 
grounds east of and around the Capitol. Tliere the various 
Iowa regiments and batteries Avere reorganized under their 


commanders. They were wasted by time and casualties of 
war, but they presented a grand and affecting spectacle 
as they marched through the streets of the city on their 
last grand parade. It was the grandest demonstration 
ever witnessed in Iowa. 

To feed this army of men not only were all the houses 
of the city freely thrown open, bn.t otlier extensive arrange- 
ments were made. The large packing house of Murphy 
& Go. was conTerted into a mammotli cook house, run by 
steam, and a dozen Iowa beeves were cool^ed at one time, 
and sixty-four barrels of coffee were served up at one meal. 
In all over one hundred beeves Avere slaughtered and 
cooked, and five hundred barrels of coffee, nearly 30,000 
gallons, were drank in the camp. Other supplies were in 
the same proportion, and all were bountifully fed during 
the few days of this grand encampment and reunion of the 
old soldiers of Iowa and their comrades of other States. 

Today, twenty-five years and more after its occurrence, 
this grand reunion is often mentioned among the remain- 
ing old soldiers and their friends, and it will be many years 
yet before it is forgotten and only remembered in history. 
It was a grand conception, intelligently and faithfully 
carried out, and was in every respect a grand success. 

And with the flush times following the war, and the 
influx of new people at that time came the era of rapid 
building in the city and the opening up to cultivation of 
thousands of acres of land in the county. Not only were 
the old farms extended and new farms opened, but great 
improvements were made in the character of farm houses, 
barns and outbuildings. Times were what is termed good, 
all the products of the farm were in demand and com- 
manded good prices, and the farmers were encouraged to 
improve their living comforts and luxuries and extend their 


operations. The farmers were prosperous, and their pros- 
peritj^ extended not only to Des Moines, but also to the 
smaller towns and Tillages of the county. In Des Moines 
many hundreds of business and dwelling houses were 
erected during this period, and not a few of these were large 
business blocks, highly creditable to the city, and many 
of the tine residences then built are yet regarded as elegant 
and comfortable homes. It would be difficult to give a list 
of the business houses erected during these years, and we 
must be content with writing of these generally. 

In looking over tlie files of the State Register we find 
a detailed review of the buildings and improvements dur- 
ing the year 1869, some figures of which may give the 
reader an idea of the onward march of improvements dur- 
ing that one year of this period — 1869. The money value 
of the building and improvements of that year are thus 
aggregated : 

Dwelling houses and improvements .f 1,221,700 

Hotels, stores, offices, churches, etc 359,150 

Total : .|1,5S0,850 

Other buildings and improvements not included in the 
above : 

Baptist University .f 3,500 

Des Moines Valley Railroad 80,000 

Rock Island Railroad 10,000 

School houses. West Side (improvements) 2,000 

State Arsenal 2,000 

Streets 25,000 

Walnut Street Bridge 7,356 

Fire cisterns 2,600 

Sidewalks 12,000 

Driving park 3,000 

Gas company .» 20,000 

While lamenting that it has been a very unfavorable 


year for building purposes, the Register states that dur- 
ing the year 225 dwelling houses and 12 business blocks 
had been erected. 

At that time the Walnut street bridge was, as it yet is, 
though the old bridge long since passed away, the main 
thoroughfare between the East and West Sides of the 
river, and the Register gives the following figures as to 
crossings made in one day over that bridge: 

Country teams 603 

Countrj'- saddle horses 91 

City teams 420 

Saddle horses 40 

Making in one day a total of 1,158 

The amount expended in 1868 in Des Moines in the erec- 
tion and improvements of the business houses and dwell- 
ings was placed at higher figures than of 1869, being for 
the former year |1,600,000, and the city is credited with 
having expended $60,000 on streets and bridges. 

In May, 1869, occurred one of the most disastrous fires 
then known in the city. This was on Walnut, between 
Third and Fourth streets, and among those who suffered 
the heaviest losses were Laird Brothers, Frank Butler, 
Comparet & Stark, W. A. Reed, W. W. Williamson and 

In September, 1879, one span of the Walnut street bridge 
was broken down and for a time that imj)ortant thorough- 
fare was necessarily closed. At the time of the break down 
a drove of Texas horses or mustangs were being driven 
over it, and it Avas supposed their restless and uneasy 
movements were the cause of the disaster. A number of 
the horses were killed or crippled, and out of this grew 
a number of law suits. 


lu the fall of 1869, the first German newspaper was es- 
tablished in Des Moines by Yoight & Co., with Prof. Con- 
rad Beck as editor. This is now the Staatz Anzeiger, so 
long and ably conducted by Col. Joseph Eiboeck. 

In August, 1869, came the total eclipse of the sun. It 
was known that at Des Moines this eclipse would be total, 
and hence preparations were made hj scientists from the 
Smithsonian Institute and from other societies and col- 
leges to here take close obseiwations of this important 
event. Among those who established headquarters at Des 
Moines for observation was S. V. White, a former resident 
of this city, but then and now a prominent broker and 
financier of New York, who had devoted much of his time 
to the study of astronomy and kindred sciences. When the 
time arrived the scientists, as well as all the people of the 
city and county were on the alert, and as an early settler 
remarked : "There was no postponement or fake about that 
show." Tliere may have been a few drawbacks in the way 
of clouds at the time, but on the whole the observations 
fcTken by the scientists were satisfactory, while the people 
generally looked on with mingled feelings of awe, fear anil 
admiration at the seldom witnessed total obscuration of 
tlie sun during the time when he is ordinarily sending out 
over the earth his brightest rays of ligiit. It may be ti*ue as 
told the chickens began to hunt their accustomed roosts, 
tliinking night was suddenly upon them, and it is certainly 
true that not a few men and women, wlio knew little of 
eclipses of this character, were badly frightened at this 
obscuration of the sun — this turning of day into night, at 
an unusual hour. This eclipse was a fruitful subject for 
comment and conversation among our people for months 
and years after its occurrence. 

In October, 1868, the District Agricultural Society, com- 



posed of members of some twenty counties adjoining ov 
west of Polk, lield a very successful fair on the grounds 
between Horseshoe Lake and the Raccoon River. P. F. 
Bartle was then, and for some years, the efficient secre- 
tary of the society, and much of the credit of its success 
was due to his untiring and efficient management. 

In May, 1870, Gilcrest Bros.' planing mill, on East Vine 
and Second streets, was destroyed by fire, entailing a very 
heayy loss. In June seven buildings near Sixth and Wal- 
nut streets were badly damaged by fire, entailing a loss of 
some 17,000, and in November the Foster planing mill nn 
East Court avenue was burned. 

More than twenty-five years ago some of the leading 
women of the city were advocating female sufirage, and 
in the old newspaper files we find the proceedings of a con- 
vention, in which we note the names of Mesdames Calla- 
nan, Coggeshall, Savery, Cattell, Wriglit, Cutler, Pomeroy, 
etc. This was not the begining of this movement in Des 
Moines. Years before that date there had been advocates 
of this change in the suffrage laws in the city, and they 
then and since have worked zealouslj' for what they re- 
garded and now regard as their just rights, and thej^ cer- 
tainly have greatly increased in numbers during this last 
quarter of a centurj^ Be our opinions what they may upon 
this question, and the writer certainly does not lean much 
in that direction, ,yet all must give due credit to such esti- 
mable ladies as Mrs. Callanan, Mrs. Coggeshall and their 
associates, for the ability, zeal and energy with which they 
have during all these j'ears sought to accomplish what they 
and many others regard as a most worthy object, far-reach- 
ing in its future benefits to both man and woman kind. 

The good times financially continued in county and city 
during the last half of the sixties and on into the first of 


the seventies, but speculation was overdone and tlie reac- 
tion was sure to come. In 1873 came the noted financial 
panic, entailing much loss to many and causing great 
financial distress and disaster throughout the entire coun- 
try. This city and county were in better shape to meet 
this trouble than were many other communities, but there 
was much suffering and complaint here. The financial 
troubles naturally stopped at once many contemplated 
improvements and checked the rapid advance which had 
been continuously going on in the prices of farms and city 
lots and real and personal property. However, upon 
the whole Des Moines and Polk County worried through 
this financial crisis with much less loss and suffering than 
did many other cities, towns and counties. Its effects were 
nevertheless felt here for several j^ears. Illustrative of 
this is the fact that while the census returns of 1870 gave 
Des Moines a population of 12,035 — more than doubling in 
the previous five years — and an enumeration in 1873 gave 
15,0G1, the census of 1875 showed a falling ofi: in popula- 
tion from the latter figures, the total being only 14,148, 
an actual loss in two years of 618. This is the only known 
instance of the kind in the entire history of the city. It 
is also only fair to state that, as with a more recent census, 
the citizens claimed this census of 1875 had not been prop- 
erly taken and that the city had many more inhabitants 
than the census taken had given it credit for. To correct 
what was claimed to be a gross and injurious error by order 
of the mayor another census of the citj^ was taken in Au- 
gust and September, 1875, and this proved up a total popu- 
lation of 16,141, showing a small gain instead of a loss 
over the census of two years previous. 

These financial troubles also brought a new element into 
politics which for a time influenced and partially con- 


trolled the legislation and policj^ of political parties and 
of the State. The "Grangers" became very active and 
influential, not only in this city and county, but also 
throughout Iowa, and many other States, especially in 
those of the West and South. Starting in a humble way, 
Avith granges or lodges of "Patrons of Husbandry," owing 
to financial and otlier causes, the order or society spread 
with great rapidity all over the country. It was a time 
of unrest, politically and financially and otherwise. These 
helped the spread of the "Grangers," as they were gener- 
ally termed, and as a matter of course the little and big 
politicians, who first laughed at and ridiculed the move- 
ment, had to join the "Grangers" when they found that 
they were becoming a great political and social power 
in the country. So rapid was the growth of the "Grangers" 
that in a few years they were strong enough, with the aid 
of the Democrats, to tie the lower house of the General 
Assembly, and also control to a large extent the election 
of county and other local olficers, and naturallj^ influence 
the election of members of the General Assembly and of 
Congress. The strength of the "Grangers," however, cul- 
minated in a year or two, though in that time they brought 
about some needed reforms, and its influence waned. This 
order yet remains in existence, but has little of the influ- 
ence it had in the first few years of its existence. 

This "Granger" movement gave an impetus to what was 
termed the "Greenback party," which for several years 
wielded a large amount of power in this city and county 
and throughout the State. By fusion, or rather concert of 
action with the Democratic party, a "Greenbacker," Hon. 
E. H. Gillette, was elected to Congress from this dis- 
trict, and William H. McHenry was twice elected Judge 
of this judicial district, together with a number of local 


officers. In the adjoining Sixth Congressional District, 
Gen. James B. Weaver was tliree times elected to Congress 
as a "Greenbacker," and "Greenbackers" Avere elected in 
the Fonrth, Fifth and Eighth Congressional Districts. The 
members of these independent parties were variously 
termed at the same or different times — Grangers, Anti- 
Monopolists, Greenbackers, etc. In the past f ewyears those 
of them who have not returned to their membership of the 
older parties, ar;^ generally known as Populists, or mem- 
bers of the People's Party. 

In tlie closiiig year of the decade Dr. Aborn came to Des 
Moines, and after being here but a short time became im- 
bued with faith in the future growth and prosperity of the 
city. At that time the Savery House, now Kirkwood, was 
the one and only leading hotel in the cit}^, and the Doctor 
thought there was a good opening for one other large first- 
class hotel. Accordingly he purchased tlie lots on the 
southwest corner of Court avenue and Fourth street, 
owned by and for years occupied by the residence of P>. F. 
Allen. This brick building was torn clown and upon t]ie 
lots was erected tlie large and spacious brick building since 
so widelj' known as the Aborn House. Dr. Aborn yet owns 
this valuable property, and has recently refitted and refur- 
nished the same in a most complete and tasteful manner, 
and under his supervision it uoav holds its rank as one of 
the best of the leading hotels of the citj'. 

Early in the seventies B. F. Allen, the banker, then con- 
sidered the most wealthy man in the county, if not in the 
State, commenced the erection of a magnificent residence 
in the Avestern part of the city. This was, when completed, 
much the finest residence in the city, and equal if not su- 
perior to any in the State. Considerably more than 
•1100,000 was expended upon and in it. An opening party 


was giveu, wliirli sui-passed all previous social events in 
this citv. There Avere hundreds of guests present and they 
were entertained in a most lavish and hospitable manner. 
For a short time Mr. and Mrs. Allen dispensed many hos- 
pitalities at this fine residence, and it was an attractive 
social center until Mr. Allen's removal to Chicago. Some 
time after his financial failure and much litigation, it be- 
came the property of Fred M. Hubbell. There for years 
Mr. and Mrs. Hubbell and family liaA'e had their delightfxil 
home, and have not been behind in their hospitable enter- 
tainment of many of their old and new friends. 

The reunion of the Anny of the Tennessee was held in 
Des Moines on September 29-30, 1S75. Among the distin- 
guislied veterans present were President Grant, Secretary 
of War Belknap, Gen. W. T. Sherman and daughters, to- 
gether Avith a large number of other prominent officers of 
the army. Elaborate preparation had been made and a 
warm welcome Avas given b}^ the citizens to their guests. 
Arches trimmed with flags and cA^ergreens were erected 
across ATalnut and Fourth streets and Court aA^enue. Pub- 
lic buildings and many residences were profnselA^ decor- 
ated and brilliantly illuminated at niglit in honor of the 
occasion. The residence and extensive grounds of Maj. 
Hoyt vSherman were beautif nil}'- decorated and illuminated, 
and there Gen. Sherman was the welcome guest of his 
brother. President Grant AA^as the guest of Hon. C. C. Cole, 
at his spacious residence on Fourth street, which was also 
profusely decorated and illuminated. On the second day 
the children of the public schools, by invitation, assem- 
bled at the Opera House and there President Grant deliv- 
ered a short address which was quickl.y distributed OA'er 
the country, attracting much attention and eliciting many 
comments. The reunion was a A'ery sucecssful one, and 


the visiting members of tlie Army of the Tennessee gave 
mucli praise to the citizens of Des Moines for the hearty 
welcome and hospitalities so liberally and freely showered 
uj)on them. 

The original capitol building had been erected at a day 
when it was difficult or impossible to jjrocure the best of 
material, and it was necessarily somewhat hastily con- 
structed. In the course of a few years it became apjiarent 
that a new capitol or state house must be built. From the 
first this had been anticipated, and the original building 
had been designed and intended as only a temporary capi- 
tol. The increase in population of the State also increased 
the work to be done in the State offices, and, the result 
was the old building soon became crowded and uncom- 
fortable for those who were compelled to be or transact 
business there. Then when the General Assembly met it 
was worse. The iialls were illy heated and ventilated, and 
this caiised much sickness, if not several deaths. Added to 
the discomfort was the more than suspicion that the build- 
ing was not entirely safe, and many entertained fears that 
a hori'ible accident or catastroplie might at any time occur, 
by or through the collapse of the building. In the latter 
part of the sixties agitation was commenced in favor of 
the building of a new capitol upon the magnificent grounds 
originally set apart for that purpose and then belonging 
to the State. Of the struggle over this question — the com 
meucement of the erection of a new capitol building — more 
will be said in another chapter. After preliminary work 
at previous sessions this battle was fought to a finish in 
tlie General Assembly at the session of 1870. After a pro- 
longed and earnest fight the friends of the new capitol were 
finally successful. The bill passed both houses, was 
promptly approved by the Governor, and steps were taken 


to at once commence the work which in some ten years 
after culminated in the completion of the magnificent 
building which now graces Capitol Hill, and sheds honor 
upon all those connected with it and upon the State. The 
commencement and carrying on of this great work ma- 
terially helped the county and city, and was of special 
benefit to the East Side. It settled for many years to come 
the site of the capitol, and made many other matters fixed 
and certain, and was eminently satisfactory, not only to 
the people of this city and county, but also generally to the 
people of the State. 

During the period embraced in this chapter a number 
of bridges were erected over the Des Moines and Kaccoon 
Elvers in the city, and also a number of good bridges over 
streams in the county, among the latter being a new and 
costly one over the Skunk Elver. Not onlj^ were many of 
these public improvements made, but also old roads were 
much improved, and many new ones laid out and worked 
more or less. A few new towns were located in the county, 
and the older ones were much improved witli new buildings 
and other evidence of material prosperity. As previously 
stated many new farms were opened up and old farms en- 
larged, new buildings erected, and the farmers generally 
invested heavily in all the latest improved agricultural 
implements. Great improvement was also made in the 
character and quality of farm live stock. Choice herds of 
blooded cattle were to be found in every township, and 
hundreds of fine horses, for the road or farm, or heavy 
drafts, were reared in the county, while much attention 
was given to the rearing of improved breeds of swine. Corn 
and hogs have been from the first almost a specialty with 
the farmers of the county, and through these much lias 
been added to the wealth and consequent prosperity of the 


people, especiall}' the farmers. Timber culture was also 
eutered into extensive!}^, uotwithstandiug the more thau 
average amount of native timber in the county. Much 
attention was also paid to farmers' houses, barns and other 
outbuildings, and many of these country homes were beau- 
tified with shrubbery, trees, orchards and grassj^ lawns. 
The value of farms and farm lands steadily advanced in 
prices, and this advance, though not as rapid as the ad- 
vance sometimes made in other property, was steady and 
healthj', and this advance has continued up to the Y>resent 
time, when a Polk County farm is generallj^ considered a 
most valuable property to hold. It is noticeable that when 
financial panics or "hard times" come upon a community 
many of the town people retire to the country and become 
farmers. And it is further noticeable that a large major- 
ity of these former town people become attached to a farm 
life and remain farmers on to the end. Some of them, too, 
make the verj' best of progressiA^e, successful farmers. 

One fact is woi-thy of making a special note of in connec- 
tion with county affairs during this period. This is, that 
in the years 1872 and 1873, the county was entirely out of 
debt. Fortunately for Polk County there never was any 
heavy bonded indebtedness hanging over the taxpayers. 
Back in the fifties the county, like unto other counties then 
in existence, anxious to secure railroad connection with the 
rest of the world, by a vote of the people agreed to give 
its bonds to the amount of .|300,000 to the old Mississippi 
and Missouri, now the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific 
Railroad Company. But fortunately, perhaps, for the 
county that railroad company did not comply with the 
conditions imposed, tlie bonds were not issued, and the vote 
was subsequently rescinded. Thus, in the years after the 
war, when other counties and cities in Iowa were being 


sued in the United States courts, upon railroad and other 
bonds issued by them, and heavy judgments were being- 
obtained against them, the County of Polk and City of Des 
iloines were not harassed in this way. And while there 
may have been at times needless expenditure of county 
funds, yet upon the whole the finances of Polk County have 
been well managed. 

During the ten years embraced in this chapter Polk 
County more than doubled its population, jumping from 
15,2U in 1865 to 31,.55S in 1875. The City of Des Moines 
also nearly tripled its population in the same time — the 
census of 18G5 showing a total population of only 5,722, 
while the census of 1875 gave the city 14,443 inhabitants. 
In 1865 there were in the county 3,135 voters, and 1,419 
voters in the city. In 1875 there were 41,842 voters in the 
county, over 2,000 of whom were in the City of Des Moines. 

October 8, 18G7, a vote was taken in the county upon the 
proposition to restrain sheep and hogs from running at 
large and was defeated by the following vote: Yeas, 851; 
najj-s, 1,144. But two years later, October 12, 1869, the 
same proposition was submitted and carried by a large 
majority: Yeas, 2,066; naj^s, 930. October 12, 1875, came 
a vote upon the question, shall stock be restricted from 
running at large? This proposition was defeated by a 
vote of: Yeas, 1,747; nays, 2,500. Two years later the 
same proposition was again defeated, but in 1880 it carried 
by a majority of 853. 

For several years this same question caused more or less 
agitation in the city. It was an easy matter to pass an 
ordinance requiring horses and hogs to be restrained from 
running at large, though for several years the hogs were 
allowed to make free raids upon the gardens of the citi- 
zens, but when it came to restraining cows that was an- 


other matter. In the early days a coav was considered a 
necessarjr adjunct to every well regulated family, and when 
the City Council attempted to pass or enforce an ordinance 
compelling the owner.s to keep their cows in stables or 
pastures the indignation of many men and women was 
aroused at once and they proceeded without delay to "make 
it warm" for the offending aldermen. At that time, too, 
there were vacant lots and parcels of land in and about 
The city where, in the season, the cows could find an abun- 
dance ot good grazing, and when they desired a change of 
diet they could make raids upon the gardens or lands of 
the citizens. In the winter time the cows picked up much 
sustenance from the wagons and sleds of the farmers in 
tlie streets of the city, and they were not at all particular 
as to what they took therefrom. Finally, this nuisance 
became so great that the Council at last passed a cow ordi- 
nance, and had the courage to enforce it, and this now 
meets the approbation of a large majority of the citizens. 
To a great extent the milkman has taken the place of the 
family cow, while the market gardener supplies what was 
formerly procured from the family vegetable garden. Bnt 
seldom now we find the irate family man, armed with a 
bean pole, frantically chasing an invading cow from his 
lot, swearing vengeance upon both cow and owner. The 
cow has about disappeared, save a few that the boys drive 
to and fro, or herd during the day and stable at night, and 
the family vegetable gardens are only to be found now out- 
side of the more densely settled portions of the city. Many 
of the old-time fences have also disappeared, and fine 
laAvns, shrubbery and flowers are unenclosed and open to 
the street. The restraining ordinance protects them more 
safely than did the fences of an earlier day. 


. 'J '' ' *■' ■' • " THE SALOON. ' ■ ^ 'S - 

THE sale of iutoxicatiug liquors aucl the regulatioL 
or prohibition of the same has always played a more 
or less prominent part in the political and social 
liistory of every city and county, e,sx>ecially in Iowa. So 
this question lias in the history of Des Moines and Polk 
County. Wliile the United States troops were here the 
sale of intoxicating- liquors, especially to the Indians, 
was strictly prohibited, and the soldiers used prompt and 
summai'y measures to prevent the sale and punish the 
sellers. And yet, notwithstanding this military vigilance, 
the settlers, soldiers and Indians, managed lime and time 
again to procure intoxicating liquors of \'arious kinds. 
Tlie sale, purchase and use of iutoxicatiug liquors from 
the beginning up to this time has never been entirely 
suppressed in this city and county, no matter hoAV strin- 
gent the laws may have been and h()A\'ever 7>ealous the 
officers in the enforcement of the same. Tliis is a fact 
of history that cannot be denied truthfully. 

The County of Polk was organized by election on April 
(5, ISIti. The first Board of County t'ommissioucu's met 
April 13, and organized. Tlie following day aluiost the 
first business transacted was granting a license to Wal- 
lace W.Clapp, and also to Addison Michael, allowing eacli 
of these persons to keep a grocei'y wlierein intoxicating 
liquors w^ere to be sold. Tlie license fee tlien was very 
low compared with the .f 1,200 now paid, being only .$0.25 
per quarter, or .f25 for each year. A number of such 
licenses were granted by the Board prior to the enactment 


of the tirst t^tate prohibitory hiw. There was occasional 
trouble over the sale of liquors, and some prosecutions, 
but they were comparatively few in number, and those 
licensed "groceries" w ere allowed to conduct this business 
with but little molestation from the officers of the law. 

The theory of kState prohibition of the manufacture and 
sale of intoxicating liquors had taken a strong hold upon 
the people East and West in the early fifties. Many en- 
thusiasts saAV in tliis the means of finally banishing intem- 
perance from the land. vSeveral of the States about this 
time adopted what was called the "Maine law," that state 
having been among the first to adopt prohibition in its 
entirety. The first prohibitory law of Iowa w^as adopted 
or passed by the General Assenrbly in 1855, and was sub- 
mitted to a vote of the people at tlie April election of that 
year. The vote upon it was not large and the majority 
were in favor of the adoption of the law. By its jirovisious 
the law went into effect July i, 1855, and being sustained 
by the courts became the law of the State. This law legally 
(dosed all the saloons or groceries in the State, although as 
a fact in many localities the law was not enforced. In 
Des Moines and Polk County it was enforced with more or 
less strictness, yet at no time was it impossible or even 
very difficult for those who desired to obtain intoxicating 
beverages. The drug* stores, tlien, as now, sold more or 
less of liquors, and what are called "lioles in the wall" were 
in existence even in those early days. There were, how- 
ever, no open saloons in Di's Moines for a short time after 
the law went into effect, and tlie town and county officers 
of that day had not discovered the mine of wealth, snbse- 
quently discovered by their successors, which existed in 
the searches after violators of tlie law and the seizure and 
confiscation of their iirohibited goods. Yet there were 


some seizures, one of the most notable being the seizure 
and the destruction of some forty barrels of high wine and 
other liquors belonging to Charles Good. In 1856, if not 
before, there were again several open saloons in the town, 
one or two of them being finely fitted up, and they were not 
much troubled by the law or its officers. 

By the provisions of this law we had for a year or two 
what was called "The County Grocery.'' Under the law the 
County Judge appointed an agent, Dr. D. V. Cole, who 
bought for the county an excellent stock of lirpiors and 
sold the same for "medical, mechanical and culinary pur- 
poses." This "County Grocery'" was located on the south 
side of Court avenue, between Second and Third streets, 
where G. Munzenmaier's saloon now is. Dr. Cole and J. 
Fleisliman, his assistant, tried to live up to the law, but 
liaving to take the word of the purchasers for the truth, 
their sales became large and frequent, and it is at least 
doubtful about the liquors purchased being generally ap- 
plied for the purposes prescribed by the law. In fact, it 
is not improbable that not a few "good drunks" were had 
by the early settlers of that day from or upon the liquors 
purchased at the "County Grocery." The T\Titer has a dis- 
tinct recollection of one of the enterprising citizens of that 
day who, purchasing his stock at the agency, made the 
rounds of stores, offices and shops, peddling out the liquors 
by the drink. He was well knoAvu and took the title of 
"Doctor" from his calling, and was generally given a 
hearty welcome by the thirsty. lie did a prosperous busi- 
ness for a time. 

One of the official duties of the Grand Jury was to in- 
spect the stock, books, etc., of the "County Grocery," and 
it is needless to say this duty was never neglected. Tlie 
writer on one occasion was appointed by Judge McFarland 


special bailiff of the Grand Jury for this duty and no other, 
and in his official capacity marched the jury down to the 
"County Grocery" to make this examination. The Grand 
Jury was then composed of fifteen men, and the jovial Dr. 
T. K. Brooks was the foreman. Several hours was occu- 
pied in this work, the most of the time being spent in test- 
ing the quality and purity of the liquors. The law re- 
quired the liquors to be pure and unadulterated, and Dr. 
Brooks said that they must be thorough and general in 
their tests. The tests were duly made, in fact any number 
of tests, and the jury finally returned to their room full of 
the subject of their investigation — so full they immediately 
adjourned for the day. Thereupon the bailiff was summar- 
ily called before the Judge, who eagerly enquired, "Did 
you leave anything for me?" Upon being informed a two- 
gallon jug of the best whisky was in the sheriff's office, the 
Judge thanked and discharged the bailiff' from further 
duty, adjourned the court for a time, and hastened with 
some of the attorneys to the sheriff's room, and in a short 
time there was a sound of approaching emptiness in that 

The "County Grocery" became unpopular, or too popular 
with some, and the General Assembly in ] S56-57 abol- 
ished that feature of the law. Thereupon Polk County sold 
out the stock on hand and retired from the saloon or groc- 
ery trade. There had also arisen much complaint among 
the people about the law and manj^ urged its repeal. Tlie 
immigration into the State was then large, and among 
them had been many Germans, and many more were about 
ready to follow, but they wanted to have the beer and the 
wine they had always been accustomed to in their old and 
also their new home. They cared little about whisky and 
the other strong drinks, but they must have their beer and 


wine. At that time the two main political parties were 
struggling for supremacy in the State, and the German 
voter was an important factor. These Germans held the 
balance of power. The newly formed Republican party 
could not antagonize them and hold political power. The 
Germans were opposed to the sweeping prohibitory law. 
A compromise was effected. To retain the native prohibi- 
tionists the prohibitory law in its general features was re- 
tained, and to placate the Germans the law was amended 
so as to allow towns and cities to license the sale of beer 
and wine. This is why the celebrated "beer and wine 
clause" came to be engrafted upon the so-called prohibitory 
laws of Iowa. Efforts were made time and again to repeal 
this clause, but it remained the law of the State until the 
prohibitory constitutional amendment was adopted in 1882 
and the subsequent enactment of a more stringent prohib- 
itory law by the General Assembly in 1884. 

Not long after the adoption of the "wine and beer clause" 
the City Council of Des Moines licensed the sale of beer and 
wine at first placing the annual license fee to be paid at 
•f200. The number of saloons increased as rapidly, if not 
more so, than the growth of the city in population. There 
were a few saloons in the outlying towns of the county, but 
there were not many of them, and their careers were gener- 
ally short and full of trouble. In the city few, if any, of 
these saloons confined themselves to the sale of wine and 
beer. They all sold more or less whisky and other strong 
liquors in violation of the law. In fact it was expected 
they would sell strong liquors, as they could not confine 
their sales to the legal drinks and pay the amount charged 
by the city for license. This amount was from time to time 
increased from |300 to $500, to $800, and finally to $1,000, 
and even this latter large sum was being jjaid about 1882 


hj more tliau fifty saloon keepers in the City of Des Moines. 
Bnt with all their payments to the City of Des Moines 
these saloon keepers had their legal troubles, and many 
of them. They were continually violating the St<ite law 
and being indicted therefor by grand juries. Especially 
was this the case during the eight years Judge Maxwell 
was on the District bench. He was a strong believer in 
and adA'ocate of prohibition and had but little sympathy 
for any saloon keeper. lie charged grand and petit juries 
strongly against them at every term and upon every trial 
of one of the keepers, and if found guiltj^ by a jurj^ always 
administered severe punishment. The only escape for the 
saloon keei^er was when, as sometimes happened, grand 
juries refused to indict, and as more often was the case 
petit juries refused to convict despite tlie charges and 
instructions of the Judge. 

Occasionally, but generally for onlj^ a brief period, the 
Citj Ckjuncil, bowing to some temporary prohibition wave 
of public opinion, would refuse to license any saloons. 
Then there would be a "dry" time among the citizens. At 
one time the saloons closed tightly all their doors for a 
few weeks. Then the prohibitionists rejoiced over a vic- 
tory won. These rejoicings were premature. The saloon 
men were quietly at work. They took the best legal coun- 
sel, carefully prepared their books and papers, and one 
morning the doors of some fifteen or twenty saloons were 
thrown open again. But they were no longer piiblic sa- 
loons. They were legally organized "Social Clubs," and 
every one who wished could become a member thereof and 
enjoy his fill of drinks. And these clubs paid no license 
fee whatever to the city. The city officials looked on for a 
time, and then acknowledged defeat, passed a license ordi- 
nance more satisfactory to those especial],y interested, and 


in a short time tlie social clubs disappeared and the ohl 
familiar saloons reappeared. 

Many of these saloons were not conducted as they should 
have been, or as required by the State law and the ordi- 
nance of the city, and the result was the anti-saloon feel- 
ing grew stronger each year. While a majority of the 
people of the city were never perhaps what might be 
strictly called prohibitionists, jet the feeling from the 
beginning up to the present day was at no time strongly 
in favor of open saloons, but upon the contrary, more or less 
opposed to them. When they did exist it was more by tlie 
mere sufferance than the good will of a majority of the citi- 
zens of both county and city. At the same time it must be 
admitted by the student of its history that prohibition has 
never been, and judging the future by the past, ne^-er will 
be strictly enforced in the City of Des Moines. This is a 
condition, not a theory. 

The General Assembly in 1882 adopted for the second 
time a proposed amendment to the Constitution prohibit- 
ing in this vState the manufacture and sale of all spirituous 
and malt liquors, including wine and beer. This proposed 
amendment was submitted to a vote of the people on June 
27, 18S2, and adopted by a majority vote of nearlj^ thirty 
thousand. The vote cast in Polk County upon this prohib- 
itory amendment stood 

For adoption 4,630 

Against 2,519 

Majority for 2,111 

On October 11, 1870, less than twelve years previous to 
the last vote of the people of Polk County had refused to 
prohibit the sale of ale, beer and wine, by the following 


For prohibition 1,430 

Against 1,670 

Majority against 244 

The adoption of this amendment was generallj^ regarded 
as the death knell of the saloon in Iowa, and that as soon 
as the General Assembly would meet and pass laws for 
carrying the amendment into effect, the saloons would 
disappear from Polk County and other counties of the 
State. But the legality of the adoption of the amendment 
was contested in the courts, and after a number of months 
of doubt, and a great legal contest, the Supreme Court 
finally decided the amendment to be null and void, and 
no part of the Constitution as had been officiallyproclaimed 
by the Governor, because of grave legal defects in the 
manner in which it had been agreed to by the General As- 
sembly. This gave a new lease of life to the saloons. But 
the decision of the Supreme Court only maddened the 
prohibitionists and increased their hatred of the saloon. 
They had won a great victory over the latter only to be 
robbed of the legitimate fruits of that victoiy. At the 
first opportunity they strack down Judge Day, the Chief 
Justice who delivered the opinion against the validity of 
the amendment, though he was an able, honest judge, and 
had been before this a very popular man. They made 
special efforts at the next election for members of the 
General Assembly and secured a majority of the members. 
They argued, with some show of reason, that as a large 
majority of the people had by their votes declared in favor 
of prohibition, it was the duty of the General Assembly 
at the first opportunity to pass a sweeping and general 
prohibitory law. If they could not have it now in the Con- 
stitution they must have prohibition good and strong in 
the statute laws. 


The General Assembly of 1884 enacted what was at that 
time generally called the "Clark Law," so named for T. 
E. Clark of Page County, a leading prohibition member 
of the Senate. It was a sweeping, stringent law, prohibit- 
ing, under severe penalties, the manufacture or sale of all 
kinds of spirituous and malt liquors. It was considered 
at the time a very severe law and j'et two years later it was 
made even more severe and drastic. It was thought if 
prohibition ever could be enforced it certainly would be 
under these laws, which virtually held that makers and 
sellers of intoxicating liquors had no rights which the peo- 
ple or the courts were bound to respect. And the Sui^reme 
Court of the State subsequently held these stringent and 
extraordinary provisions of the law to be valid and bind- 
ing upon the people. These laws first went into effect 
July 4, 1884, and at once the open saloons of Des Moines 
were all closed. 

But, as is usual in such cases, in a short time it was dis- 
covered that the law was being evaded and intoxicating 
liquors sold in violation of the same. It was not long before 
a large amount of this traffic was diverted to the drug 
store, and the rapid increase in numbers of the latter was 
surprising. They sprung up quickly and thickly in the 
business portions of the city, and soon invaded the resi- 
dence streets, and were scattered around the suburbs. A 
number of former saloons were reopened as drug stores, 
restaurants, etc., and in most of these places intoxicating 
liquors were sold at all hours, day and niglit. Not a few 
of the rooms fitted iip as saloons were reopened and liquors 
were again sold therein with more or less secrecy. Good 
prohibitionists, who believed in the law, now attempted 
to enforce it in good faith. Arrests were made, injunction 
proceedings conimenced, and the places were searched and 


considerable liquor seized. This first effort at enforcement 
was undoubtedly made in an honest effort to aDolish the 
sale of intoxicating liquors in the city and county. And yet 
the sale went on, and while for a time drunkenness may 
haye been partially suppressed it soon became apparent 
that it had not been prohibited in fact as it had been in 

Under the proyisions of the laAV the processes had been 
made easy of procurement and the fees to officers executing 
the same were found to be yery remunerative. This was 
as great a temptation to the officers of the law and in- 
formers, and iucidentiiUy to the numerous attorneys of the 
city and county, as was whisky and beei' to the ijeryerted 
appetites of the confirmed drunkards. The most of these 
men cared little or nothing for the law itself; they were 
not zealous foes of intoxicating liquors. They were pri- 
marily in the business of enforcing the law solely for the 
fees or the mone,y there was in it for them. Backed by the 
sheriff of the count}'' and the justices of the townships, the 
sheriff and his deputies, constables and numei*ous assist- 
ants, were soon banded together and making daily, eyen 
hourly, raids upon and into places where it was known or 
suspected intoxicating liquors were being sold. These 
raids brought on at times great excitement among the peo- 
ple and not unfrequently led to brawls, almost riots, and 
clubs, kuiyes and pistols were openly displayed, and some- 
times used. Men were beaten and shot, and finally a spe- 
cial constable, Logan, was shot dead in a large wholesale 
drug store on kSecond street. These raids caused at first 
as previously stated, much excitement, and their frequency 
and the peculiar manner in which they Avere conducted 
attracted the attention of not only the people of Iowa, but 
also that of others throughout the entire countr\'. 


As before stated there was money, miu-h iiionej', in it 
for the jndicial and executive ofticers of tlie law, and nine- 
teutlis of this money was taken from tlie taxpayers of the 
county, the latter having to pay most of tlie cost of all these 
raids, riots and judicial and extra judicial proceedings. 
Very seldom were any costs collected from the illegal sell- 
ers. These "searchers," as they were tenned, reduced the 
business almost to a science. They did not wish these 
places entirely closed, as this would reduce their lucrative 
returns. Hence they seldom arrested persons engaged in 
illegal selling. The,y were content themselves with seizing 
what small quantities they might find, put this liquor on 
trial, condemn and destroy it. Often they would pile up 
a bill of costs against the coimty of from $5 to |25 for the 
seizure and condemnation of liquors of the value of only 
a few cents. Not content with thus robbing the county, 
these officials and followers would levy cash tribute upon 
the sellers and blackmail them and their friends. They 
by their actions, blackened the fair name and injured the 
reputation of the city. The amounts gathered by these 
men during the years of tiieir active operations is not 
known exactly, but in the aggregate was enormous, reach- 
ing far beyond |100,000 in this city and county. One jus- 
tice of the peace is reported to have made more than 
110,000 in one year out of his office, while his leading con- 
stable was not far behind him. The others gathered in 
very large sums. While they raided the places where 
liquors were illegally sold and badgered the sellers they 
much more effectually raided the county treasury and the 
pockets of the taxpayers. For a time they seemed drunken 
with their unlimited power and wealth of spoils. 

Such an extraordinary state of affairs could not in the 
very nature of things long exist. And yet they did exist in 


a more or less violent form for several years. The people 
of the city and county were remarkably long suffering and 
forbearing. At last, however, there Avas a reaction. The 
people complained, the County Board of Super^dsors com- 
menced scanning closely and throwing out a portion of 
these excessive bills of costs, civil and criminal proceed- 
ings were commenced against some of the most active 
"searchers," they were found out, and neai'ly all the good 
citizens Tvho had encouraged them at the start became cold 
and lukewarm toward them and generally condemned their 
wholesale robbery of the public treasury. The "searchers" 
were loathe to abandon this mine of wealth, but finding 
that the once rich vein had been about worked out, they 
slowly and reluctantly withdrew. But up to the last now 
and then new raids were made upon the sellers and their 
goods, and new bills of costs made out against the county. 
Intelligent men now look back and wonder that this work 
was permitted, and being permitted was also allowed to 
continue for such a long period of time. They cannot un- 
derstand it. And it is certainly something wliich would 
not be permitted to again occur in this city and county. 
One affliction of the kind is sufficient for all time. 

The General Assembl,y at the session of 1894 passed what 
is knoAAai as the "Mulct Law." This law is in force at this 
time and went into effect a short time after its passage. 
Under its provisions when a majority of the citizens of one 
of the large cities give their consent thereto in writing the 
City Council may grant permits for the sale of all spirituous 
and malt liquors, under certain stringent regulations and 
upon the payment of a license fee of not less than |600 per 
annum, which fee is to be equally divided between the city 
and count3^ Consent papers were circulated and an active 
canvass made and in a short time it was announced that a 


majority of voters had giveu their cofiseut as required by 
law. Thereupon the City Council passed the requisite ordi- 
nance, fixed the total fees at |1,200 per year, and ordered 
licenses or permits issued to a number of applicants. Im- 
mediately thereafter a number of saloons were opened 
under the law, in the latter part of May, 1894, and for tlie 
first time in thirty-nine years was whisky and the stronger 
alcoliolic drinks legally sold in a Des Moines or Iowa sa- 
loon. From July 4, 1855, up to tlie taking effect of the 
mulct law it had been against the laws of Iowa to manu- 
facture or sell these alcoholic liquors as a beverage, wine 
and beer alone being legalized. During these thirty-nine 
years hundreds of thousands of dollars had been expended 
in Polk County alone in the attempt to enforce these pro- 
hibitory laws, and the success which followed these costly 
attemj^ts is to some extent pointed out in this history of the 
saloon in Polk County. 

But the new mulct law and the saloons operating under 
the same in Des Moines within a year after opening had 
to face another judicial inquiry. Some of the opponents of 
the saloon, prominent in the same being the Church Fed- 
eration, contended that the petition of consent was invalid, 
chiefly for the reason that it had not been signed as the 
law required by a majority of tlie legal voters of the city. 
Prosecutions were commenced, injunctions obtained, and 
other proceedings had, causing more or less excitement in 
the city. FolloAving a long and expensive hearing in the 
District Court, Judge Spurrier decided against the saloons, 
that the alleged consent had not been legally obtained, and 
again were the saloons all closed. The saloon keepers then 
went to work in earnest and in a few weeks procured and 
filed new petitions of consent, which Avere pronounced good 
and sufficient. Then the saloons were again opened and 


have remained open up to this time, and few if any of them 
have been since prosecuted for a violation of the present 

At this time tliere are in the citj^, and they are tlie only 
ones of the kind in the county, between fifty and sixty 
saloons operating under the present law, and it is claimed 
by the owners and conceded by the officials that they are 
gejierally obserwing all the provisions and regulations 
much better indeed than was to be expected in view of the 
past. Yet the fact remains that there are too many so- 
called drug stores and other places where all kinds of 
liquors are being sold by day and at all hours of the night, 
in direct and flagrant violation of the law. The newspapers 
and good citizens generallj^ are loudly calling for their 
rigid suppression, but so far they have not been suppressed. 
At the same time there are a number of good citizens, 
among them ministers and members of churches, who are 
not and will not be content until the prohibitory laws are 
revived in all their harshness and another and a more thor- 
ough attempt made to abolish entirely the liquor traffic 
in the city and State. They contend prohibition can be 
and will be some time in the future thoroughh^ enforced 
all over this broad land, and to this end they labor. 


The first saloons were naturally somewhat rude and un- 
couth places, without the fine and costly accessories of a 
modern bar room. The first one Avas in one of the old fort 
buildings and for several years thereafter they were all 
located on or near "the Point," the tongiie of laud at the 
junction of the Raccoon and Des Moines Rivers. Liquors 
Avere then sold generally in grocery stores. When the Ex- 
change Block, corner of Third and Walnut, was completed, 
a fine saloon AA'as opened on the second floor at the west 


end of the building. There were fine furniture, mirrors, 
pictures, etc., and during the flusli times of 1S56-57 this 
place was much patronized by the speculators, real estate 
and i^rofessional men, merchants and others of those days. 
For some time it was the aristocratic saloon of the young- 
city, though it was patronized by all classes. 

Later on the whole third floor of the Shernian Block, 
Third and Court avenue, was given up to a fine bar, billiard 
and card rooms, under the management of Charles Har- 
rington and Albert Britton, and this was a great jdace 
of resort for all who enjoj^ed the pleasures there to be 

Perhaps more old time reminiscences of this nature 
linger around a saloon opened by G. Munzenmaier in 1S5G, 
in a large log and frame building on the north side of Court 
avenue, next to the alley between Second and Third. The 
house was one of the first built in the town and for a time 
was tlie residence of Dr. William Baker. The street hav- 
ing been filled the first floor was then several feet below 
grade. This place and its proprietor had an unbounded 
popularity for several years. Everybody went there. The 
legislator and the farmer, the judge and the lawyer and 
the laborer, the rich and the poor, flocked to this unpre- 
tending place, and each and all enjoyed themselves in their 
own fashion. Not a few grandfathers of today think back 
and smile over the remembrance of pleasant hours passed 
awaj' years ago at "Munz's." 

Such old timers, then jolly youths, as "Jim'' Miller, Cap- 
tain Ed L. Marsh and others engaged for a limited period 
in operating a saloon. In those days an aged and portly 
German had a small saloon on Court avenue. One holiday 
time the boj's mentioned and their comrades bought the 
establishment of the old German for, to him, munificent 


sum of |7 cash in liancl. They were to retain possession 
one day. Jim Miller donned the big white apron and his 
partners went drumming up customers. One of the first 
was Dan O. Finch. Dan took his drink, threw down a 
dollar and after waiting for a time asked for his change. 
He was startled hj the polite reply, "We don't give back 
any change here, sir!'' Dan caught on and rushed off say- 
ing, "We must catch Crocker." The latter was caught and 
also several other citizens. Bj^ closing time the new saloon 
keepers had about quadrupled their original capital. They 
then took their large profits over to "Munz's," had a gay 
time expending both capital and profits and retired from 
the saloon business. 

Among the most zealous and noted of the "searchers" 
was Frank Pierce. His fame went all over Iowa and other 
States. A young, wiry, nervous man, full of a kind of 
reckless daring, he was for a year or two the leading spirit 
of these raids upon the saloons. Many thought at times 
he was off his mental balance, but he showed much shrewd- 
ness in accumulating money by his work in this line. He 
commenced as a deputy or helper under Sheriff Painter, 
but being made a constable soon branched out for himself. 
He gathered around him a number of not very rei)utable 
men, and planned and executed searches and seizures up 
into the hundreds. He was in a number of affraj^s, was 
always ready with his pistols and did shoot and wound 
one or two men. He was the cause of much excitement 
occasionally among the citizens, which several times came 
near resulting in bloody riots. He managed, however, to 
generally escape himself without serious injury. He 
finally retired from the business after gathering from the 
county and from the sellers some .flO,000 more or less in 
the shape of fees and perquisites. He then engaged in 


business as a scavenger and had difficulties with city offi- 
cials in regard to a dumping ground. This last difficulty 
culminated in his shooting of Officer Wishart, an old 
soldier, who was at that time acting as a special policeman. 
The wounded man lingered for a short time and died. 
Pierce had been promptly arrested and indicted for mur- 
der. He tooli a change of venue to Warren County, where, 
after much delay, he was convicted of a less degree and 
sentenced to four years in the penitentiary. An appeal 
was taken and finally the sentence was affirmed. Soon 
after Pierce was taken to the Fort Madison penitentiary, 
where he is now engaged in chair making. 

Another of these searchers was G. W. Potts, who first, 
with Pierce, and afterwards with his own gang acquired 
considerable notoriety in this line of business. He and his 
gang levied tribute on all sides and for a time were quite 
successful. Finally Potts was convicted of perjury and 
given a short term in the penitentiary. This broke up his 
gang and put a stop to their operations. 

There were others of these men, who, dressed in a little 
brief authority, cut such fantastic tricks as made the people 
laugh and swear, then complain of the sums, big and little, 
drawn from the pockets of the taxpayers by these executors 
of the prohibitory laws of Iowa. But the names of these 
worthies are hardly worthy of being embalmed in this 
history for the admiration or contempt of future genera- 
tions. Even at this time, when these occurrences are so 
recent, it seems difficult for the average citizen to realize 
how and why they permitted this parody on law and justice 
and this open and flagrant robbery of the public treasury 
and of citizens to continue for as long a period as it did. 
They cannot fully understand it. At the same time the 

fact these proceedings, under the color of law, were allowed 


and summary puuislimeut not inflicted upon the perpe- 
trators, shows conclusively the peaceable and law-abid- 
ing character of the citizens of Des Moines. Thej^ sub- 
mitted because they were committed and permitted under 
the sanction of or at least the color of the law, and in the 
liope that the law makers and those whose duty it was to 
administer the laws would ultimately render legal justice 
to all. It is doubtful, however, if such proceeding woi^ld 
under any circumstances again be tolerated or permitted 
in this community. It would hardly be safe for other men 
to attempt to repeat them. 

The last prohibitory law went into effect in ISSi. Ac- 
coi'diug to the County ^\-uditor's report the total amount 
of justice court costs paid bj" this county in 1884 was 
•'^4,7!)T.11. The searchers commenced their operations in 
1885 and increased them rapid]}^, as shown by the increase 
in justice court costs paid by the county. In 1S8G they 
amounted to |29,09G; 1887, .|22,116; 1888, |20,767; 1889, 
P7,75.5; 1890, |34,34.3; 1891, 135,159. These enormous 
increases were almost ent)rel.y due to the costs of these 
so-called attem})ts to enforce the prohibitory law in the 
city of Des Moines. The total court costs of the county 
in three years — 1889-90-91 — reached the enormous sum 
of $285,3G0.32, and in ten years running up to a grand 
total of .'};825,5G2.85. 

Among the saloon keepers and liquor sellers of the past 
fifty years in Des Moines were to be found W. W. Clapp, 
Addison Michael, James Campbell, and others in the old 
"grocery" days. Later on came Charles Good, Schotten- 
fels and John McAVilliams. The latter was one of the 
most jileasaut gentlemen ever residing in Des Moines, and 
for some years sohl lifjuors in connection Avith his popular 
grocery store. Leliman and George O'Kell at an early 


day imported and sold many barrels of Pittsburg aud Day- 
ton ale. As elsewhere stated G. Muuzenmaier was oue 
of the most popular of the early saloon keepers. Then there 
was Albert Britton, commonly called "Britt," who was a 
Yeritable genius in Avit and humor. Fred and Charles 
Eeinig were also in tlie business for some years. Then 
in the sixties came Charley Harrington, Isaac Kolin, Dan- 
iel Lehane, Mat Xicholsou, Tommy Whalen, T. J. Kennedy, 
John Newman, the noted and popular AVilliam J. llarirs, 
Joe Lehner, Adam Bachmann, John Swilkey, Westcott and 
a number of others. With these, though perhaps later 
fame George Lonusberry, Otto Monger, Lawrence 111 and 
others, and in these latter days of "mulct" have come many 
new men from other places to engage in the business. 
Among the early dealers on the East Side was Francis, 
AA'ho brought the finest stock of liquors ever seen in Des 
Moines up to that date and opened in a building on the 
foruer AA'here the Daily Capital oftice is now located. In 
a short time his place was closed by the sheriff. Then in 
the same building for some years was Charley O'Brien, 
who could always manage to find something stimulating 
lor his regular customers. And many of the early settlers 
will remember (dd Pat Donohue, who kept further down on 
the bottom, and always had on hand several barrels of 
^'Pottsville" for his large town and country trade. The 
officers occasionally raided him, but Pat always managed 
to keep a good snpjily on hand for himself and customers, 
until "Pottsville" proA^ed too strong for liim, and he died. 
But he had a "glorious wake," where the best of liis whisky 
was freely drank. And many a worse man than Pat Don- 
ohne liA'ed and flourished in Des Moines. Then in those 
early days there was Bottroff, Avho built and kept a saloon 
on Second, near Walnut, and who sometimes had "trouble 
niit de poys." He afterwards became a prosperous Polk 


County farmer. And there was the Frenchman, Bernico, 
and his wife, on the east banli of the river, and their "frog," 
a place much frequented for a year or two. Later on, at 
the corner of East Court avenue and First street, Charles 
Boehler, honest and reliable, located a saloon and subse- 
quently erected a large two-story brick building, whicli 
he owns and occupies to this day. 

The writer was in 185G-57 one of the justices of the peace 
in Des Moines. M. M. Crocker, afterwards the general, 
one daj- came before him, with Bottroff, a saloon keeper, 
and hied an information against one Walker, a coal dig- 
ger, charging him with malicious injury to property. 
Walker was arrested, and upon examination it was learned 
that on the previous evening Walker with another coal 
digger had been drinking in Bottroff 's saloon and a figlit 
occurred. Walker was thrown out, the door closed and 
several men attacked his comrade in the saloon. To get 
to his rescue Walker jiicked up a stick of wood and battered 
away at the door and windows, doing some damage to the 
property. After hearing the evidence the justice detei'- 
mined to discharge Walker, and to give reasons therefor 
stated in substance: The rule of law was a man must 
abide by the legitimate results flowing from his own wrong. 
In this case Bottroff had illegally sold Walker whisky to 
drink, and this made him drunk and violent. Now, was not 
the damage to liis property only the legitimate result of 
Bottroff's wrong in first selling him the whisky? Walker 
was discharged and the costs taxed to Bottroff. Crocker 
was mad and wanted the case appealed, and other saloon 
keepers were mucli alarmed at tliis sweeping decision, 
whicli tliey claimed virtually placed them outside of anv 
protection from the laAV and courts. But Bottroff would 
not appeal and pay more attorney fees. He paid the costs 


aud the matter was settled. This may not have been sound 
law — it was not so considered by the justice himself — but 
it was substantial justice under the circumstances of that 

Here, as elsewhere, it was frequently noticed and com- 
mented upon that many men of the best character for 
truth and veracity, halted, hesitated and even equivocated, 
when placed upon the stand in what were generally called 
"whisky cases." This was general and perhaps natural. 
Every honest man dislikes being placed in the position 
of a spy or informer. And besides many good men re- 
garded and now regard it as no crime in itself to sell, buy 
or drink a glass of intoxicating liquor; that it is only a 
mere statutory offense, with no moral guilt attaching; and 
the.y are reluctant to aid in convicting any person of such 
an offense. Hence, in the District Court, especially when 
Judge Maxwell was on the bench, many amusing happen- 
ings occurred while witnesses were being examined in 
this class of cases. Several times the judge imposed tines 
and threatened imprisonment upon witnesses. And it was 
not infrequent for juries to refuse to return in these cases 
a verdict of guiltj^, after the judge had virtually instructed 
them so to do. 



IX June, 1852, the i>liysieiau8 of Polk County met to- 
gether ill the Court House and formed themselves 
into a Medical fc^ociety. Dr. A. Y. Hull read an ad- 
dress. The doctor afterwards dropped medicine and 
took up law and newspaper work. 

One of the first of many Irishmen to settle in Des Moines 
was generous, good hearted Michael McTighe, so well re- 
membered by older citizens. He died a few years ago. He 
was for years a prominent working Democrat and member 
of the City Council. He also owned and, for years, with 
his good wife, conducted the well known Shamrock House, 
on Second, between Vine and Market streets. 

From 1854 to 1850 tlie number of voters in Polk County 
was more than doubled. 

In the early days Skunk Bottom was the "holy terror" 
of travelers, stage drivers, teamsters and emigrants. It 
was frequently blocked by high water, and when the ^^•ater 
was low it was muddy, boggy and treacherous. This 
Skunk has been the cause of more verbal damning than all 
the rivers of the State combined. 

The State Register would have been named the State 
.Journal by John Teesdale, had it not been for the fact that 
the writer had previously purchased the Statesman and 
changed it to the State Journal. Mr. Teesdale liad for a 
time been connected with the Ohio State Journal, and 


liked the uame. He liad to make a second choice and tliat 
was State Eeiiister. 

The first piano was brouglit here by Capt. F. E. West 
in 1853, and furnished tlie nmsic at tlie marriage of liis 
dangliter, Aretliusa, to B. F. Allen in 1854. 

Keokuk, the Indian chief, had two residences or wig- 
wams a short distance from where the town of Avon is 
now located. The one in the timber for winter nse, wliile 
the other on the prairie was his summer residence. The 
tepees, or wigivams, of his encampment were A'isible in 
181G, but soon totally disappeared. 

Judge William McKa.Y held his last term of court in 
March, 1854. P. M. Gasady was elected his successor, but 
resigned before holding a temi of court. Governor Hemp- 
stead appointed G. J. McFarland to fill the vacancy, and 
the latter held his first term in September, 1854. Dan O. 
Finch, it was generally expected, would be Judge Gasady's 
successor, but McFarland lived in Boone Gounty, in the 
Northern Gongressional District, and GoA^ernor Hemp- 
stead lived in that district and had congressional aspira- 
tions. Hence McFarland's appointment. 

In August, 1857, when the present Gonstitution of the 
State Avas being voted upon a separate vote was taken on 
striking out the word "white," so as to permit negroes 
to vote, and have other civil rights. The vote in Polk 
Gounty upon this was: Yeas, 65; nays, 557. Twenty -three 
years later, November, 1880, the same proposition was 
submitted and the vote showed an immense change in 
public sentiment in Polk Gounty, the vote being: Yeas, 
3,052; nays, 678. When the first vote was taken negro 


slavery existed in many of the States of the Union. When 
the last YOte was taken slavery was abolished and dead. 

Up to 1857 there had been forty-four additions made to 
the original town, thirty-four on the West and ten on the 
East Side. There are now within the city limits 573 ad- 
ditions and subdivisions, and 109 offlcial plats, making 
a total of 682 plats. 

Frank M. Mills started at printing and book publishing 
in Des Moines in 1856, and is yet the chief of the Mills 
Publishing Company. From the first he has been the 
head of the company or firm, and for years they conducted 
the largest printing and publishing house west of Chicago. 
For a long time they employed at one time from 150 to 
200 men, some of whom received high wages — 130 to |50 
per week. The books show that Frank M. Mills and the 
companies with which he has been connected have paid 
out here in Des Moines, as wages alone, during these 
forty years more than two and one-half million dollars! 

In 1853, while J. C. Savery was keeping the Everett 
House on Third street, a young man came to Des Moines 
and stopped a day or two at this hotel, looking for an 
opportunity to teach a school. Seeing no opening here 
and hearing of Fort Dodge, and being short of money, the 
young man shouldered his carpet bag and started on foot 
for that .place, more than eighty miles from this town. 
This young man was Qi'^rus C. Carpenter, afterwards for 
four years Governor of the State of Iowa. 

In 1856 an allowance was made for the keeping of an 
insane boy, Jesse Weise. He was subsequently sent to 
the poor farm and now an aged man, yet remains there. 


For over forty years lie has been taken care of by the 

In the early days when farm houses were few and scat- 
tered, it was of frequent occurrence for men to get lost 
while traveling over these wide prairies. If the weather 
was mild no s^oecial damage occurred, bej^ond fright, hun- 
ger and inconvenience. But in the winter time to be lost 
on one of these bleak prairies was no trifling matter. Loss 
of limbs or death might be the result. A number of per- 
sons lost their lives in this manner in the early days of this 
countjf and section of the State. Even as late as the winter 
of 1870, we find an account of how in February of that 
year, four men lost their way in Carroll County, and were 
frozen to death within a few miles of their homes. Two 
were found dead under the sleigh, and the bodies of the 
other two were found but a short distance away. During 
those winters many men suffered the loss of fingers and 
toes, and too frequently lost hands and feet. Many thrill- 
ing stories were told of men, and women, and children, 
who were unfortunately caught out on the open prairie 
b}^ a snow or sleet storm, and experienced great suffering 
iind danger. 

In November, 1859, Bartrum Galbraith located his 
blacksmith shop on the northeast corner of Third and 
Locust streets. It has remained at this locality, now in 
the heart of the city, continuously up to this time, a i^eriod 
of more than thirty-six years. And during all this time 
he has himself wielded the hammer and industriously fol- 
lowed his trade. Who can beat this? 

The firm of Stacy, Johns & Co., boots and shoes, com- 
menced business in Des Moines in 1855, and continued 


in business without any cliaufie in the style of the tirni 
until 1893, thirty-eight years. This is a long time in a new 
and eyer changing city. 

October 2, 1857, the County Judge "ordered that S. A. 
Robertson be alloy\'ed |10 for drawing plan of jail and 
house for the county." That jail and house has neyer been 
built, although much needed. Truth of history compels 
the statement that the Polk County jail lias been for years 
and is now a disgrace to the county and the good citizens 

August 30, 1851, W. W. Moore was allowed |15 for act- 
ing as deputy clerk. 

The following order is found upon the county records: 
"December 9, 1851, ordered, that Thompson Bird be al- 
lowed for ink furnished for the use of the county offices 
the sum of .f 0.50." 

Ed E. Clapp was the first ice man in Des Moines, and 
under date of Noyember 18, 1850, the County Judge "or- 
dered, that Ed R, Clapp be allowed |8 for ice furnished 
the August term of the District Court." 

The first county warrant drawn by and against Polk 
County was in favor of Thomas McMullin, for services as 
clerk at April election, 184(1. 

In 1840 a Territorial tax (same as State) was levied of 
only three-fourths of one mill. Tlu^ county tax was fifty 
cents on every -f 100 of taxable i)ro]»erty. The iioll tax was 
fifty cents. 


Tlip first assessor of Polk Oonnty was (Iveen B. Clark. 
He afterwards removed to Marion County and became 
prominent there — liaAin"!- been several times elected a 
member of the Iowa General Assemblv. 

The steamer Colonel Morj;an was once owned and con- 
trolled by a syndicate of Des Moines merchants, and for 
one or more seasons plied between Keokuk and Des 
Moines. For a time Peter Myers, of Des Moines, acted 
as captain. From all accounts this venture of the citizens 
was not altogether successful, and the Colonel Morgan 
passed into the ownership of others. This boat was en- 
gaged in the Des Moines River trade during the season 
of 1857, and having lingered too long on the upper river 
was caught by low water and compelled to stay at Des 
Moines until the spring of 1858. On February 9th, of that 
year, this boat gave an excursion from here, the river 
being clear and higii enough for her to travel a number of 
miles on the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers. On March 
10, 1858, the rivers here were about clear of ice and navi- 
gation could be resumed. 


Among the many improvements made along in 1856-57 
was the erection on Front and Vine, East Side, of a very 
fine flouring mill. This mill was erected by Stanton and 
Zeigler, and liad all the latest improvements known at 
that time, and turned out a very fine grade of flour. But 
on February 3, 1858, this valuable mill Avas totally de- 
stroyed by fire, entailing a loss of some |15,000. It was 
insured for some -f 10,000. This was a great loss, not only 
to the proprietors, but also to the city. 

July 5, 1855, one day after the first prohibitory law went 
into force, it was ordered by the County Judge that Dr. 


D. V. Cole be paid the sum of .fl,000 with which he, as 
liquor agent, was to purchase a stock of liquors for the 
county, to be sold by him at an advance of 25 per cent 
above cost for medical, mechanical and sacramental pur- 
poses only, and he was instructed to procure a supply of 
liquors for such purj^oses as soon as practicable, and he 
was also authorized if possible to purchase a supply of 
liquors in Fort Des Moines sufficient to meet the necessary 
demand until he could procure them elsewhere. It will 
be seen by this there was no delay in establishing the 
"county grocery" after the prohibitory law took effect. 
The thirsty did not have to wait very long. 

May 21, 1857, it was "ordered that John Railing be 
allowed the sum of .fill.55 for plowing, sowing and harrow- 
ing Avheat in the public square." 

A destructive fire swept over the prairie north of Al- 
toona as late as 1868, destroying much proi^erty. 

Among the county records the following order was found 
entered under date of October 8, 1858: "Ordered, that 
James Stanton be allowed |17.35 constable fees for prose- 
cuting, draying, stowing, handling, beheading and burning 
forty barrels (of Eed Eye) whisky belonging to the Des 
Moines, Polk County, Vinegar Association." Latter-day 
constables would have made hundreds of dollars in the 
shape of fees out of that much whisky. 

Tlie number of soldiers engaged in the late war and en- 
lisred in Polk County cannot be exactly given, but it is 
I'Stimated they numbered at least 2,000. This would be 
uKu-e than one-half the legal votes of the county in 1862. 
AVhat a record of patriotism aud bravery this is. 


November 17, 1872, Governor Carpenter ordered the 
Crocker Veteran Gnards and the Olmstead Guards, two 
military companies of Des Moines, to go to Council Bluffs 
to stop a proposed prize fight between Tom Allen of St. 
Louis and Hogan of Omaha. The fighters were forced to 
go to Nebraska, and the troops had a jolly time. 

J. P. Day of Saylor Township came to Des Moines from 
the State of Delaware in 1857 with his father. Squire AA'. 
M. Day, wlio was a resident of East Des Moines for many 
years and died there recently. Before leaving Delaware 
they were 1 old hj a man named John Chandler that he had 
been a United States soldier at Fort Des Moines, and not 
satisfied with the seiwice he and a fellow soldier deserted. 
Tliey one night got into a canoe at the mouth of what is 
uoAv Bird's Run and quietly floating by the fort j^roceeded 
down the river a number of miles. The,y then took to the 
brush and after many hardships finally got safely awaj'. 
Chandler reached his home in Delaware with very ragged 
clothes and in a generally used up condition. His descrip- 
tion of the country around the fort was found to be accur- 
ate by Mr. Day when he came here, and he has no doubt 
the story told by the ex-soldier was true. 

The soldiers of the gallant Second Iowa Infantry are 
touchy over any attempt to rob them of the glory justly 
belonging to them for their heroic and successful charge 
at Fort Donelson. They led that charge and won it alone. 
Gen. Lew Wallace, the romancer, tells a romance of Gen. 
P. F. Smith having led it. Gen. Smith was a brave and 
gallant officer, but he did not lead that charge. It Avas 
led by Gen. Tuttle, then colonel of the regiment. Gen. 
Smith was not. in it. 


V. H. Buzzard of Saj'lor Township will be remembered 
by many of the early settlers. He Avas a rather eccentric 
character, but was a good man and citizen, and at one 
time owned valuable farms and lands. He was for j^ears 
a Mormon, but a brief residence in Utah Territory weak- 
cjied his faith. He objected strenuously to the church 
tithe of one-tenth of the income and property'' of a disciple. 
He left the Mormons, and after residing some time in 
Webster Countj^ finally removed to Spokane Falls, Wash., 
Avhere he was living well advanced in years when last 
heard Ironi. 

AY. D. Christy tells a characteristic story of (^len. 
Crocker. At the battle of Shiloh he was Colonel of the 
Thirteenth Iowa Infantry. When the wearied but un 
daunted troo]>s had formed their last line late in the day 
Crocker rode up to Gen. Tuttle and said loud enough for 
the men to hear: "Buell has come to our relief." Tuttle 
was doubtful and asked: "Is that true?" Crocker re])lied 
in a low ione: "No, but we must encourage the boys." 

The first railroad locomotive to cross the Des Moines 
Eiver was one belonging to what is now the Northwest- 
ern Railroad Company, and this made the crossing iu 
Boone County on April 20th, ISGG. 

Des Moines and Polk County have always had theii- full 
complement of dogs, good, bad and indifferent. In 18GG 
the rieneral Assembly ])assed a law taxing all dogs -fl 
annually per head. Tliis dog tax was so generally unpop- 
ular the next General jVssembly hastened to repeal it. 

Tlie amount c)f swamp lands patented to Polk County 

was about 7,000 acres. 


The first insurance company organized in l)es Moines 
was the Iowa Central Insurance Company, in Februarj^, 
1S64, witli J. B. Tiffin, president; E. J. Ingersoll, vice pres- 
ident, and A. O. Mattison, secretary. Then followed the 
t^tate, and shortly afterwards the Hawkeye. The Central 
in a year or two was merged into one of the other com- 
panies. The State and Hawkeye have continued their 
prosperous existence up to this time, and are solid and 
wealthy institutions, which promise to continue iu busi- 
ness for many j-ears to come. 

Among the former police officers of Des Moines, Adam 
Ilafner should not be forgotten. He was appointed on the 
force in July, 1869, and from that time put in eighteen 
years of faithful service. During this time he served i^\'t^ 
years as Chief of Police, and four 3 ears as City Marshal, 
lie was ahvays an honest, efficient and brave officer, and 
liis record is an honor to himself, the police force, and to 
the city. Ho has also served with credit as a member of 
tlie City Council, having been the alderman from the 
Fourth Ward for the past two years. As chairman of the 
city purchasing committee he has shown his strict honesty 
and good business judgment, saving to the city many hun- 
dreds of dollars. Alderman Hafner was alwa.ys a good 
man, officer and citizen. 

George E. Spencer, of New York, was for a short time a 
resident of Des Moines, and then for a year or two made 
his home at Newton. He was one term secretary of tlie 
State Senate, and subsequently operated speculative 
schemes iu Northwestern Iowa. After the war he was 
for some years a "Cai^pet-Bag" United States Senator from 


New Year's Day, 1864, was one of the noted cold days 
: Iowa, the thennometer showing froi 
below zero for some twenty -four hours. 

of Iowa, the thennometer showing from 15 to 30 degrees 

Captain John Browne, of Des Moines, was a private in 
Gen. Crocker's comi^any at the beginning of the war, and 
afterwards partly through Crocker's influence was made 
captain in the Seventeenth Iowa Infantry. In the opera- 
tions around Jackson, Mississippi, Captain Browne, 
through carelessness, permitted several of his men to be 
captured by the Confederates. The young captain was 
scared; he saw the straps disappearing from his shoulders; 
and finally mustered up courage to go to Gen. Crocker, then 
commanding a division, and tell him the trutli. Then 
Crocker did give it to him ; told him he had disgraced him- 
self and his friends and should by rights be dismissed the 
service. Browne said nothing in reply, and after a while, 
Crocker said: "Here, John, take a drink. Now tomorrow 
we will have a fight; it may be hard one. Go in, do your 
duty, and if you get through all right you can report your 
men missing during that fight." John saw the point, fol- 
lowed the advice, and thus saved his shoulder straps. 

As an instance, showing the zeal of the politicians of 
these early days the following is given : In Janiiaiy, 1857, 
the writer in company with some friends were on their 
way to attend a Democratic State Convention, to be held 
at Iowa City. They left Newton Saturday morning and 
managed in the afternoon after much difliculty to reach 
the little village of Westfield, a few miles south of Grin- 
nell. There they came to what was then called the "Eigli- 
teen Mile Prairie," and the storm had become so severe 
and the cold so piercing that they concluded to spend the 
night at the hotel in Westfield. True, the hotel was new, 


built of native lumber and unplastered, but even these dis- 
comforts vs'ere better than venturing out upon that storm- 
tossed snowy prairie on such a night. Big fires and buffalo 
robes permitted the party to pass the night without being 
frozen. The next morning ushered in the celebrated cold 
Sunday, when the thermometer dropped down to anywhere 
between thirty and forty degrees below. Fortunately the 
winds had quieted down and the party started on their 
journey. Out in the middle of the wild prairie they saw at 
a distance a man on horseback coming up the road from 
the south; curiosity compelled them to stop, and when the 
traveler came up he was interrogated. He good naturedly 
replied that he was from one of the extreme southwestern 
counties of Iowa, and was on his way to attend as a dele- 
gate the Democratic State Convention at Iowa City. Here 
he was traveling in the midst of one of the most severe 
winters ever known in Iowa on horseback over two hun- 
dred miles to attend the Democratic Convention. Neither 
was he a candidate nor aspirant for any office. Verily, his 
political faith was strong. 

The folloAving biidges over the Des Moines and Eac- 
coon Rivers have been, by the County Board of Super- 
visors, ordered built in the last few years: April 16, 1889, 
Commerce bridge of Walnut Township, across the Rac- 
coon River, ordered built at a cost of |9,300; April Ifi, 
1889, Corydon bridge, of Madison Township, ordered built 
across the Des Moines River at a cost of |10,200; February 
2, 1891, Ball's Ford bridge of Four Mile Township (for- 
merly Grant), ordered built at a cost of $18,500; July 3, 
1894, Valley Junction bridge of Walnut Township, ordered 
built at a cost of |9,000. 

P. M. Casady, C. D. Reinking, Hoyt Sherman and L. V. 


Sherman were iiieiiibers of tlie first town conncil of Des 
Moines in 1851, and are all yet living and well known and 
liiglily respected citizens of the city they aided in starting 
npon the right road. 

As late as 1858 bonnties were allowed by the County 
Judge for killing wild cats in Polk County, to Isaac Case, 
•Joseph S. Fagau, Jacob Byers and Claborn Brazleton. 

The first justices of tlie peace in Polk County were: 
Joseph De Ford, W. II. Meacham, Addison Mitchell, Ben- 
jamin Bryant and Thomas II. Napier. All of them are 

now dead and gone. 

Among the active and energetic young men of Des 
Moines from 1855 to the early (lOs mention should be made 
(if Ed. n. Brown. Born in Maine, reared in Michigan, a 
tinner by trade, he came here in 1855, and soon took an 
active part in affairs. He became a republican upon the 
formation of that party, and was an able and indefatigable 
worker among the people and at the jiolls. He was a 
hustler, and also a clever, pojuilar young man. He mar- 
ried Eleanor, daughter of that pioneer citizen, W. F. Ayers. 
About 18(!0 he made a trip to Colorado, or "Pike's Peak," 
as that new state was then termed, and early in the ad- 
ministration of President Lincoln, through the infiuence of 
Hon. John A. Kasson, whom he had materially helped in 
his political aspiratious, was nmde postmaster at <,'eiitral 
City, Cohirado, where he also became prominent in polit- 
ical affairs. Later on he became interested in railroad 
l>uilding and romoved to south-wc^stern Missouri. He re- 
mained ill (Carthage several years until his railroad and 
other interests required a residence in Kansas, at Girard, 
where he now has his home and is largelv interested in 


railroads, mining- and farming-, and is a man of wealtli, 
prominence and inflnence. lie continnes to talce an active 
j)art in politics, and has been three times elected a mem- 
ber of the Kansas legislature, the last time, 1894, over- 
coming an opposition majority of more than one thousand. 
He remains, as the 3'ears go by, the same jovial, good fel- 
low lie was in liis younger days. 

Brax D. Thomas, a printer, who came here from Mary- 
land early in 1855, was for scweral years known by almost 
everybody in the city and county, lie was city recor<ler, 
deputy county treasurer, etc., and was noted for his pranks 
and his electioneering ability. In the early GOs he went to 
( 'olorado, where he remained for some time. He then lived 
for a time in Kentucky, and afterwards made liis home in 
Missouri and Kansas. He dietl several years ago at the 
home of his brother, a prominent physician of Leaven- 

Charles Chafer, so well and favorably known to all our 
citizens, is now the veteran of the city police. He went 
u])on the force twenty-five years ago, and in that time has 
served eighteen years, as roundsman, sergeant, and deputy 
nmrshal. Charley, as he is familiarly called by his many 
friends, was for a number of years with Orton's circus, and 
was a much trusted and always faithful employee. (Jn 
the police force he has distinguished himself by his bravery, 
kindness and good judgment. He is very popular vvitli 
the citizens, and even the criminal classes respect him, 
though they know when Charley says "come" or "go," 
tliey must (piickly and fpiietly follow the order gi^en. 
Were the matter left to the votes of the citizens generally, 
Charles Shafer could remain on the police force as long as 
he maj^ desire, and then be retired upon a liberal pension. 


The following figures will show iu a strong light the 
rapid gain in value of real and personal property in Polk 


August 4, 1859, the Board of Equalization found that the 
taxable property, real and personal (of county) amounted 

to $5,121,928. 

January, 1, 1895. — Valuation of realty and personal, 
county and city, and grand total of realty and personal, 
whole county, as shown by tax books of 1894: 

Country realty .$ 4,440,460 

CUty realty . . '. 13,503,090 

Total realty 117,943,550 

Country personal f 1,519,440 

City personal 3,012,050 

Total personal 4.531,490 

Total coimtry realty and personal.! 5,959,900 
Total city realty and personal .... 10,515,140 

Grand total 122,575,040 



THE first term of the District Court was held in Fort 
Des Moines in April, 184G. In order to provide a 
room in which the court could be held the Board 
of County Commissioners made the following: 

Ordered, That room No. 26, occupied by Miss Davis as 
a school room, be vacated for the approaching session of 
the District Court. 

This room was in one of the buildings which had been 
erected in 1843 for the use of the troops. When the latter 
were removed the General Assembh' had granted to the 
county the one hundred and sixty acres of land, compris- 
ing the site of the Fort and all the buildings thereon. Thus 
the Board had absolute control of these buildings. This 
room No. 2G was in one of the buildings located in a row 
along Raccoon River, commonly called the "Coon Row." 

The county was a part of the Second Judicial District, 
which included the south half of Iowa, and was presided 
over by Judge Joseph Williams, a noted man in the early 
history of Iowa. He was a Territorial Judge, appointed 
by the President, and was a native of Pennsylvania. After 
Iowa became a State he was one of the Justices of the 
►Supreme Court, and for some time Chief Justice of the 
same. He had his home at Muscatine for many years. 
^A'hile a good lawyer and judge he possessed an extraordin- 
ary talent for music, story telling and social enjoyment. He 
was the life of a social gathering and always full of fun and 
frolic. And yet w'ith all this he was very temperate in his 
personal habits. On the bench he was dignified, but at 


times bis ready wit and luimor would fiasli out, lighting 
np the often somewhat dull proceedings of the court room. 
A prominent member of the Polk County bar tells this of 
his arrival in Iowa: He had studied law and in doing so 
had imbibed high ideas of the dignity of courts and judges 
and in his old home the latter had been more than usually 
dignified. He came to Iowa looking for a location, and for 
a few days stopped at Iowa City, then the State capital. 
The evening of his arrival some young boys came in front 
of the hotel with fife and drums. They played for a few 
moments when a well dressed, good looking gentleman 
steppc-'d out and told the boy to give him the snare drum, 
threw tlie supporting belt over his shoulders, struck up a 
lively air and stepped up tlie street followed by a procession 
of men and hojs. Turning to a bj^stauder the young law- 
yer asked the name of the gentleman. Imagine the shock 
when the reply promptly came, "You mean that old fellow 
with the drum! Oh, that's old Joe Williams, Chief Justice 
of the Supreme Court of Iowa!" But with all his eccen- 
tricities Joseph Williams was a good judge, an excellent 
citizen and an honest man. He was subsequently a United 
States Judge in Kansas, and died at a ripe old age a n\imber 
of years ago. 

Perry L. Crossman was the first clerk of the court, having 
been a])poiuted some time previous for the piirpose of oi'- 
ganizing the county. He subsequently removed to NeAv- 
ton, Jasper County, where he lived for a number of years. 
Thomas Mitchell was the first sheriff, he luiving been 
elected at the first organizing election. Iowa then a terri- 
tory, the United States was represented by Tliomas Bake)-, 
district attorney, and John B. L;ish, marshal. 

The original record of tlu^ proceedings of the first court, 
made with a lead pencil, is now in the possession of Bar- 


low Ch-anger. The court was in session but three days, and 
the business transacted was mostly of formal character. 
On the first day a venire Avas issued to the sheriff to "sum- 
mon twenty-three good and lawful men to a]»pear forth- 
witli before said court to act as graml jurors in and for 
said county." On tlie next day the sheriff returned his 
venire aforesaid, with the following named persons, to-Avit: 
William Lamb, Benjamin Saylor, John B. Scott, Peter 
NeAVcomber, Samuel DilJe, XcAvton Lamb, John Baird, 
Tliomas McMullen, CJeorge B. Warden, Jeremiali Oliurch, 
J. M. Thrift, Shaden Wellman, vSamuel Oxford, A. Bronson, 
Samuel Shafer, G. B. Clark, W. W. Olapp, "W. F. Ayers, 
J. D. Parmlee, James Davis, J. J. Meldrum and Tlnimas 
Leonard. Notwithstanding the fact tliat many of tliese 
early settlers Avould naturally attend the opening of the 
first court in the county the sheriff ajipeared to have had 
some trouble in summoning these men, as tlie record shows 
it Avas not until the third and last day of tlie term that as 
many as was required were produced in court. In these 
latter days tlie slieriff of this county could summon more 
than one hundred A^ery Avilling jurjanen in an ]u)ur or 
less time, and that too without leaving the court house. On 
tlie third day the men mentioned above Avere duly empan- 
eled, charged and sworn as grand jurors on the part of 
the United States and the Territory of loAva, and retired in 
charge of LcAvis Whilten, a sworn officer for tliat puii:)ose, 
to consider of such matters as may come tfi their knowledge 
according to their charge, and after being absent for some 
time, returned into court and informed said court that 
they had no bills or presentments to make, and that they 
had no further business to engage their attention. It is 
therefore ordered by the said court that said grand jurors 
be discharged. And there being no further business for 
the court at this term it is ordered that this court adjourn 


until the next term in course of law. The following order 
was also made on the first day of this term : "Ordered bj' 
said court, that the eagle side of a twenty-five cent piece of 
the American coin shall be the temporary seal of said 
court, in and for the said County of Polk, until a proper 
seal can be provided." 

The records thus show that the first term of court held in 
Polk County lasted only three days, with little civil and 
no criminal business to be disposed of. This certainly 
shows the earlj^ settlers were not litigious, and were law- 
abiding and peaceful citizens. Less than fifty years after 
this four judges are kept busy ten months in the year hear- 
ing and determining legal disputes, while the jail is often 
crowded with those charged with crime, and the Grand 
Jury is kept in almost continuous session during the 
greater portion of the 3^ear. Polk County has grown great 
in wealtli and population and also great in other respects 
not so desirable. 

The second term of the District Court was held in Sep- 
tember of the same year and had before it a noticeable 
increase of business. Joseph Williams Avas judge, and 
Perry L. Grossman, clerk; Thomas Baker, United States 
attorney, and John B. Lash, United States marshal, were in 
attendance. Thomas Mitchell was sheriff. The following 
were the grand jurors for this term: J. B. Mallet, John 
Thompson, George Maggs, John Q. Deacon, James Camp- 
bell, Alexander Sumner, Norman Ballard, S. K. Scovell, 
T. H. Napier, W. 11. Meacham, Samuel Vanatta, William 
Lamb, Benjamin Saylor, T. K. Brooks, Samuel Shafer, 
Samuel Kellogg. 

The petit jurors were: Samuel Dille, Aaron Coppick, 
G. B. Clark, James White, John Parrot, Thomas Morris, 


George Rives, Eli Smitbson, Alfred BoAvman, Benjamin 
Frederick, Lincoln Ballard and John Eose. 

At this term there were a respectable docket of cases, 
and a number of them were tried. Among the cases dock- 
eted we find the following: John Ross vs. William Laijib 
et al., Addison Mitchell vs. George Dille, United States 
vs. William F. Ayres, Owen Osborne vs. W. M. Cottingham, 
Edwin Manning vs. Robert A. Kinzie, John T. Meldriim 
vs. Thomas Mitchell, Jonas Hoover vs. Prior C. Woodward, 
Samuel McClelland vs. Joseph Ehle, and several other 
cases. There was also one of United States vs. William 
Lamb, George Koonej^, Thomas Henderson and Benjamin 
Bryant, charged with riot. In this case it appears the 
Grand Jury refused to find an indictment and the defen- 
ants were all discharged. 

Among the entries of this term is the following referring 
to one of our present oldest and most highlj- respected 
citizens: "Phineas M. Gasady, applicant for admissoin to 
the bar, on motion of Thomas Baker, having produced 
to the court a certificate of his having been regularly ad- 
mitted as an attorney and counselor at law in the Circuit 
Coiirt and Superior Court within the State of Indiana, and 
said Casadj^ having been found, upon examination, in all 
respects qualified, it is ordered that he be admitted and 
licensed to practice as an attorney and counselor at law 
and solicitor in chancery in the court. Whereupon the 
said Phineas M. Casady appeared in open court and took 
the oath required by law." 

At the same term William D. Frazee Avas also admitted 
as an attorney, being the first admitted iu Polk County. 
Perr,y S. Grossman resigned as clerk of the court and A. D. 
Jones was appointed as his successor. This term of court 
adjourned October 1st, 1846. 


Tlie third term of court was held in May, 1847, aud was 
presided over by J. P. Carletou as judge. During the term 
William MeKay, Robert L. Frederick and A. D. Jones were 
admitted as attorneys of the court, William McKay a year 
or tAvo later becoming district judge. 

The fourth term of the court was held by Judge Cyrus 
Olney, and of this we have a short record. Judge Oluey 
acted in the place of Judge Carletou, the regular judge 
of tlie district, and held the two terms of the court in 1848. 
Tlie first divorce in the conuty was granted by Judge 

Under the constitution of the new F^tate of Iowa, Polk 
County was placeil in the Fifth Judicial District, and at 
the April election, 1849, William McKay, of Fort Des; 
Moines, was elected district judge. He commenced exercis- 
ing his judicial functions immediately after his election,, 
and presided as judge at the May term, 1849. These ex- 
tracts are taken from the records of that term: 

"On motion, Barlow Granger produced to the court a 
certiticate given by three judges of the Supreme Court 
of tlie State of Iowa, licensing him to practice as an at- 
torney in the Su]»erior Court aud District Courts of this 
State, which certificate being satisfactory to the court, 
Barlow (rranger ai)peared in court and took the oath re- 
quired by law. 

"Iloyt Sherman presented to the court a certificate 
granted by the Su]U'eme Court licensing liim to practice in 
the Su])reme aud District Courts, which being satisfactory 
to the court, IToyt Slierman a])pear(^d in open court and 
took the oath re(|uired by law." 

TJH-se two genthMuen Avith P. M. Casady, R. L. Tidrick, 
^^'illiam McKay, Ryron Rice and John M. Perry, the prose- 
cuting attorney, f(n' sonu^ time constituted abont all of the 
I>ai- of I'olk County, and they also attended to the greater 
jiart of tlie legal business arising in the adjoining counties.. 


But the supply of attoruevs has more tlian kept up with 
the progress of the county, rapid as this has heeu, aud 
uoAV the Bar of Polk Couuty embraces a long list of prac- 
ticing attorneys, running up in the hundreds and taking 
no count of many engaged in otlier business pursuits, or 
removed to otlier localities. At the same time it is but 
legal justice to state that in this now long list can be 
found a number of as able and learned lawyers as have 
ever graced the bar of any county or state. Former mem- 
bers (jf the Polk County Bar can at this day be found 
practicing their high professi(m in all parts of the country 
— on the Atlantic border and on the Pacific Coast. 

Judge McKay held the office of district judge for four 
years, his district embracing P(dk and a number of other 
newly created counties of this section of the State. In 
politics he was a AVhig. lie was a candidate for re-election 
in 1854:, and had as his opponent Phineas M. Casad3^ The 
election, which was held in April, was a spirited one, both 
the candidates canvassing the district. P. M. Casady, how- 
ever, was the nnire popular man and Avas elected. About 
the same time he was also ap])ointed by the President 
register of the United States land office at Fort Des Moines. 
As this latter office was worth at least three times as much 
in the way of salary and was in many other respects a 
much more desirable office to hold. Judge Casady shortly 
after qualifying as judge resigned the latter f)ffice, mucli 
to the regret of his many friends, who were confident he 
would have made an able, honest an<l im]iartial judge. 

Judge McKay, after his defeat, resumed the practice of 
law, and was subsequently elected commissioner of the 
Des Moines River improvement. In this work he is said 
to have been very fortunate financially, aud at the expira- 
tion of his official term, or shortlj^ after, in 1857, removed 


to the then Territory of Kansas, which at tliat time was 
attracting mncli public attention. He made his home in 
that State until his death a few years since. 

The vacancy on the bench of the district caused by the 
resignation of Judge Casady devolved upon the Governor 
the duty of appointing a new judge to serve until after the 
next election in 1855. He selected as his choice C. J. Mc- 
Farland, formerly of Lee, but then living in Boone County. 
Judge McFarland commenced the discharge of his judicial 
duties in May, 1854, and in a short time made himself one 
of the most noted or notorious judges in this or any other 
State. Physically he was a splendid specimen of rugged 
manhood, and he had been "well bred to the law." He 
had much more than an ordinary mind, keen perceptive 
faculties, and was a good judge of persons and facts. He, 
however, was at this time no student and bothered himself 
very little with authorities and precedents. He was more 
dissipated than was good for his bodily or mental health, 
and his aberations or eccentricities upon and off the bench 
soon attracted much attention and gave him widespread 
notoriety. Before he had ser-ved a year an election was 
held for his successor. Judge McFarland was the candi- 
date of the Democrats for re-election, and the opposition 
being a combination of Whigs, KnoAV-Nothings or Amer- 
icans, and not a few Democrats supported a most estimable 
man, W. W. Williamson, of Fort Des Moines. What was 
tlien called Know-Nothingism was about in the prime of 
its power in Iowa at that time, and the fight at that spring 
election in 1855 was as earnest and bitter as could have 
been desired by the most zealous partisan. The election 
was held and the result Avas close and doubtful for some 
time. Final],y the cauA^assers declared Williamson had 
been elected judge and his friends rejoiced greatly over 


this anuoimcemeut. But Judge McFarland held on to his 
office, contended he had been fairly elected and contested 
the election of Williamson. Finally after some delay the 
contest was decided in favor of Judge McFarland, who 
continued upon the bench, while his defeated opponent 
continued to practice before him. 

While Judge McFarland was too fond of showing the 
rough side of his rugged nature, yet with all this he was 
inherently honest and a lover of justice. And it can be 
said of his decisions on the bencli, while there were many 
appeals taken to there were few reversals by the Supreme 
Court. In this last respect his judicial record was much 
better than many of his successors. He had a hearty con 
tempt for all shame and hj-pocracies, and was more tliaji 
usually free himself from these too common vices. He was 
fond of and much desired the approbation of his fellow men 
and was very sensitive to the attacks some times made 
upon him by the newspapers or by his political or personal 
enemies. Of the latter he had but few. He served alto- 
gether upon the bench some five years, during the latter 
par-t of which by act of the General Assembly his district 
no longer embraced this count}', but was limited to Boone 
and a few of the adjoining counties. He died at Boonsborc^ 
in the early sixties. 

Following Judge McFarland came William M. Stone, 
of Marion County. He held the District Court of the 
county in 1857-58, and was well known to the people of 
the city and county, having settled in Knoxville at an early 
date, and had to some extent practiced law in the county. 
He had formerlj^ been a Democrat and gained much repu- 
tation as a fluent and aggressive political speaker. He 
continued as district judge, though Polk County was not 
then in his district, until tlie war broke out in 1861. He 


immediately resij^ned, enlisted, raised a compaii}^ of vol- 
unteers, and when the Third Iowa Infanti\v was or,t>auized 
he was promoted to major. lie served with his regiment 
in Missouri and was wounded at Blue Mills, one among 
the first battles of tlie war. He was afterwards made 
colonel of the Twenty-second Iowa Infantry, and with his 
regiment did good service in the Yicksburg and other cam- 
paigns. In 1S(I3 he was nominated for Governor by the 
Republicans, and being elected at the October election of 
that year he was inaugurated Governor in January, 1804, 
succeeding the famous "War Governor," Samuel J. Kirk- 
wood. Governor Stone was re-elected in 18()5, serving four 
years. He then returned to the practice of law, making ■ 
las home at Knoxville and for a short time residing in Des 
Moines. He continued to take an active part in ])olitics, 
and in 1889 was appointed by President Harrison assistant 
commissioner of the United States Land Office, and was 
for a time commissioner. Some time after the inaugura- 
tion of President Cleveland he left tliis position and was 
making arrangements to go into business in Oklahoma 
TeiTitory, when, after a sliort illness, death closed his 
earthly career. "Bill' Stone, as he was familiarly called, 
played a ]irominent i»art in tlie early and later history of 
this portion of Iowa and his memory should -live for years 
to come. 

John 11. Gray was tlie first district judge undei* the new 
constitution of Iowa, adopted in 1857. He came Avith his 
wife to Des Moines early in 1855, a young hnvyer who had 
studied and practiced for a brief ]>eriod at Fort Wayne, 
Indiana. He was born in Maryland ami liad graduated 
at Alleghany ( 'ollege in 1853. He had married Miss Maria 
Freeman, of Massachusetts, a sliort time previous to his 
lenagrating west. He had but little means, but was full 


of hope and energy. To help along- he and his wife tanglit 
a select school for a time. Before he had long been a resi- 
dent the Eepnblicans nominated him for prosecuting at- 
torney, and after a Avarm canvass he Avas elected. This 
gave him the start needed, and in 18.58 he secured the Re- 
publican nomination for district judge, lie was elected 
in October, 1858. He made an excellent judge, and was 
always popular AAitli the people. He was re-elected in lSr)2 
for anotlier four years. But his health failed before he had 
reached the ordinary ]»rime of life and after lingering for 
some time died on October 11, 1805. His death was much 
regretted by his many friends in this and adjoining coun- 
ties, who knew and loved and respected this pleasant 
gentleman and honest and upright judge. 

The death of Judge (iray left a vacancy on the bench, 
which was prf)mptly filled by the appointment by the Go^^- 
ernor of Charles C. Xourse, of Des Moines. He was a]i- 
pointed October 16, 18(15. Judge Nourse Avas a native of 
Kentucky and settled in Keosauqua in the early fifties, re- 
moving a few years later to Des Moines. He had been 
chief clerk of the Iowa House of Kepresentatives and twice 
Attorney General of the State. As a lawyer he then took 
the highest rank in the profession. He served as judge 
only some ten months, resigning August 1, 18()0. There 
is no doubt he would have been nominated by his i)arty 
with practical unanimity and been elected, and there 
adorned the bench, but it happened that in 1860 there was 
a bitter fight in the Eepublican party over the Congress- 
man for the district. Judge Nourse could not ktn^p entirely 
aloof from this. He was and is a man of decided opinions 
and preferen<-es; and let it be known he was o]»pose(l to 
the re-election to Congress of II(m. John A. Kasson. In 
the convention Mr. Kasson was defeated and Gen. G. 'SI. 


Dodge, of Council Bluffs, nominated. The judicial conven- 
tion came but a day or two after. The friends of Kasson 
were in a large majority in the conA'^enteion. They were 
bitterly angry and Judge Nourse was the victim of their 
wrath. His eminent ability and fitness for the position 
was admitted by all, but he had not shown himself a friend 
of Mr. Kasson and he must be punished. The convention 
set Judge Nourse aside and nominated Hugh W. Maxwell, 
then of Warren County. Thereupon Judge Nourse 
promptly resigned as judge and returned to the practice 
of law, in which he has since been eminently successful. 
His retirement from the bench was certainly a great gain 
to him in a financial way, and perhaps in many other 

Hugh W. Maxwell was among the early settlers of War- 
ren County, and immediately previous to his appointment 
as judge on August 1, 1866, had served for several years 
as prosecuting attorney of the district. In the October 
election following he was elected judge, and was re-elected 
to the same position October 8, 1870. He thus served as 
judge nearly eight and one-half years — 1866-75. He was 
a man of ability, Avith a good knowledge of law and very 
firm and decided in most of his opinions. He was a strong 
prohibitionist, and relentlessly used his judicial powers for 
the total suppression of the illegal sale of intoxicating 
liquors. He had little mercy upon saloon keepers, and 
when possible visited them with heavy fines and other 
punishments. And yet it is a matter of history that more 
money, comparatively, was then made in this county 
through the sale of intoxicating liquors then ever before 
or since ! Judge Maxwell was upon the bench during many 
exciting times in the history of the city and county, and 
one of his very last judicial acts was the sentencing of 


Howard to imprisonment for life for tlie murder of Jolin- 
sou. And while Judge Maxwell was being entertained 
by the Bar at a farewell supper, a mob of passionate and 
determined men were making preparations which a few 
hours later culminated in Howard's dead body hanging 
suspended to a lamp-post at the corner of the Court House 
square. After his retirement from the bench Judge Max- 
well continued for a time in legal practice in Indian- 
ola and Des Moines. He then removed to the South, re- 
maining for a time in Southwestern Missouri, and finally 
spent a few years in Arizona. Some three years ago he 
returned to Iowa and had but recently opened a laAv office 
in Des Moines, when he was suddenly stricken down and 
after lingering for a time died on October 12, 1S94. 

Jolin Leonard, of Madison County, succeeded Judge Max- 
^■ell as district judge, having been elected to this positioii 
in October, 1874. He was then and is now a resident of 
Winterset, where he had and has resided many years, and 
was previously for one term of four year district attorney. 
He was a good lawyer, and as judge gained a good repu- 
tation as an administrator of the law. He served only 
four years, being defeated for re-election. 

William H. McHenry followed Judge Leonard on the 
bench, defeating the latter in the election of October S, 
1S7S. Judge McHenry was one of the early settlers of the 
county, first settling on Beaver Creek and afterwards re- 
moving to Des Moines. He was of pioneer stock, and 
thougli in liis youth lie had not had the educational ad- 
vantages now so common all over the country, he, in youtli 
and manhood, embraced every opportunity for the acquisi 
tiou of legal and other knowledge. In his early days in' 
was surveyor of the county, and served one term as sheriff, 
being elected in 1 S53. A few vears after he devoted himsidf 


almost entirely to the practice of the law and built np a 
large and extensive clientage. He was an ardent Demo- 
crat, and generally took an active part in all political cam- 
paigns, and his many and original speeches were listened 
to and enjoyed by many thousands of his fellow citizens. 
In many respects he was original and unique, and he was 
always strong with the people. He was generally present 
at all gatherings of the early settlers, and his presence is 
now sadly missed. He seiwed several terms in the City 
Council, and was the first mayor of the city under its new 
charter and enlarged limits in 1857. For twenty years 
or more there had not been a Democratic judge in the dis- 
trict, and when in 1878 McHenry became a candidate for 
the high position but few thought his election was i^ossi- 
ble. But he was well known and popular in everj^ county, 
and he was elected by a good majority. And at the close 
of hi^ term in 1882 he was re-elected. The lawyers and 
others might criticise him, but evidently he had a strong- 
hold upon the people generally. His great sympathy for 
all men and women and his kind heart, prevented him 
from being a severe judge in the administering of punish- 
ment to those found guilty of violating the law. He always 
desired to temper justice with mercy, and desired the 
reformation more than the j)unishment of the criminal. 
After retiring from the bench Judge McHenry returned 
to the practice with his sons, William H. and Walter Mc- 
HenrJ^ Their clients were many. Judge McHenry died 
in 1893, his death causing heartfelt grief to his thousands 
of friends in the county in which he had lived and labored 
so long and successfully. 

In 18GS a new Circuit Court, having civil and probate 
jurisdiction, was created by act of the General Asselnbly. 
John Mitchell, of Des Moines, was elected the first judge 


of the circuit in the same year, and was twice re-elected, 
serving a continuous term of twelve years, the longest ofti- 
cial term eA^er held in the county. Judge Mitchell was born 
in New Hampshire in 1830, and was a nephew of Thomas 
Mitchell, one of the first pioneers of the county. Acquiring 
an excellent education in his native State and reading 
law for a time, he came to Des Moines in 1856 and com- 
pleted his preliminary legal studies in the office of Finch 
and Crocker, and was admitted to the bar in August, 1850. 
He at once commenced practice of his profession. In 1861 
he was commissioned captain of a company of cavalry in 
the State service, and served several mouths upon the 
northern border. The same year he was elected a member 
of the House and served for two years in the General As- 
sembly during these days of the war and general excite- 
ment. He was also a member of the City Council and 
member and chainnan of the County Board of Supervisors, 
and for some time was United States register in bank- 
ruptcy for this Congressional district. As before stated, 
in 1868, he was elected Circuit Judge and twice re-elected, 
A'irtually without opposition. He was married in 1858 to 
Kebecca Anshultz, a native of Virginia. After his long 
term as judge he returned to the practice, and in connec- 
tion with Dudley & Brown established a large and lucrative 
legal business. But Judge Mitchell in the prime, as it 
were, of his power for work and general usefulness, was 
stricken by disease and died in 1890. He was a good 
lawyer, judge, husband, father and citizen, and the record 
of years made by him in the county was clean and stainless. 

Josiah Given succeeded Judge Mitchell as Circuit Judge, 
being elected to the position in November, 1880, and after- 
wards re-elected. Judge Given was born in Pennsylvania 
in 1828, of Irish parents, who, in 18.38, removed to Holmes 


Count}', Ohio. The future judge was dependent upon his 
own efforts for au education, and for a time worked Avitli 
his father in a country blaclisniith shop. At the commence- 
ment of the war with Mexico lie enlisted as a .drummer in 
recruiting service, and after being rejected on account of 
his 3'outh, finall}' mustered into the Fourth Ohio Infantry, 
under Col. Brough, and was appointed a corj)oral. He went 
with the regiment and served until the close of the war. 
Returning home he commenced reading law in the oflice of 
his brotlu^r and J. IJ. Bancroft, noAV f>f this city. He was 
admitted to the bar in 1850, ujjon motion of Edwin M. 
Stanton, afterwards the famous war secretary. He was 
subse(pieutly prosecuting attorney of the county for two 
terms and won much legal distinction. In 1S5G he removed 
to Cosliocton, Ohio, and practiced tliere until the breaking 
out f)f the C'ivil A^'ar. He immediately thrcAV aside his 
law books, organized Company K, TAveuty-fourth Ohio 
Infantry, and entered the service as ca]itain. S(n'ved first 
in A\'estern ^"ii'giiiia and \A'as promoted li(Mitcuant colonel 
of Eighteenth Ohio, and was iu si^'eral severe battles with 
this regiment. Snbse(piently 1h^ was made coloncd of the 
Seventy-fourth Oliio, succeeding Oraiivilh' ilondy, the 
"figlitiiig ])arsoii." lie went thi-ougli th(^ Atlanta cam- 
■jjaigii and a ])orfion of the time was in cuinmand of a bri- 
gade. Being com]>letely disabled and I he war drawing to 
a close, he resigned and returned home. Afterwards he 
s(^rve(l two y(^ars as jxistmaster of the llonse of Kcpresen- 
tati\cs at A\'ashington. lietnrning home as soon as he 
could settle u]) his business lie detei-minc^il to cari'y out a 
long considered desire of becoming a ciliz(ui of Iowa, lie 
came lo I >es Moines May 1st, ISfiS, and beg;in the jiractice 
of hn\'. In ISd!) he Avas a]ipointed a Cnited States (le])uty 
commissioner of in(ei-nal re\"enue, lia\'ing charge of the 
division of spirits and fermented li(inors. lie resigned 


tliis i>nsitioii at Wasliiiif^'ton in ISTl t(i iiccept the iKiiniiiu- 
tiou (it prosecutiii}^' attonie.y of tliis district, and beinj^' 
elected commenced the discharge of the duties of tlie oftice 
in January, 1872, serviug three years. He then returned 
to tlie practice until elected Circ-uit Judge. He was elected 
District Judge in 188(), and in 1889 was appointed one of 
the judges of the Supreme Court to fill a vacancy, and was 
subsequently elected for a full term. He Avas re-elected to 
the Supx'eme bench in 1895, wliere he now diligentlj- and 
faithfully serves the State. 

In 1882 the General Assembly gave an additional judge 
to the district, and in November, of that year AYilliam 
Connor was elected as said judge. The new judge was a 
native of New York and had served gallantly as a volun- 
teer during the Avar. A short time after its close he emi- 
grated west and made a new home in Des Moines. He 
served for a time as justice of the peace, and was always a 
close student of the law. Though comparatiA^ely a young 
man he ranked high as a judge, bringing to the bench as he 
did his habit of close investigation and thorough research. 
Judge Connor remained upon tlie bench until September, 
1885, Avhen he resigned to become a member of the Avell 
known laAv firm of (xatch, Connor & Weaver, of AvliicU he 
is now and has been for the past ten years a leading part- 
ner, in practice before the District and Su])reme Courts of 
Iowa and the United States. 

Kipley N. Baylies was appointed by the GoA^ernor and 
served for a short time as the successor of Judge (I'onnor. 
He is a lawyer of ability, who came to this county with his 
father from Louisiana when the war br(d<e out. After 
retiring from the bench he re-entered the practice and in a 
feAv 3'ears made a handsome fortune by his connection Avith 


street railways and other public improvements. At this 
time Judge Baylies is a resident of the city of Chicago. 

John II. Henderson, of Warren County, Avas elected cir- 
cuit judge in November, 1885, and served as such until the 
court was finally abolished. He is a son of Col. P. P. Hen- 
derson, the early settler and old soldier, who came to War- 
ren County at an early day. His son, the judge, is an Iowa 
boy, was a bright student and became an able judge. He 
has since been judge in the district of which Warren 
County is now a part. 

The General Assembly of 1886 remodeled the judicial 
system of the State by abolishing the circuit courts and 
increasing the number of districts and judges. Under the 
new system Polk County was made a district by itself, the 
Ninth, and allowed three judges. At tlie first election of 
these judges in 1886, the following were chosen: Josiah 
Given, William F. Conrad and Marcus Kavanaugh. Judge 
Given resigned March 2, 1889, to go upon the Supreme 
bench and was succeeded by Charles A. Bishop. The 
others served a term of four years, and Judges Conrad and 
Bishop were candidates for re-election. Judge Kavanaugh 
was not a candidate, having determined to remove to 
Chicago, where he is now engaged in the successful prac- 
tice of his profession. 

At the election held in 1890 the following gentlemen 
were elected judges: William Conrad, Calvin P. Holmes 
and Stephen F. Balliet, who entered upon the discharge 
of their judicial duties in January, 1891. In 1894 the Gen- 
eral Assembl,y gave an additional judge to the district, 
and on March 12, 1894, the Governor appointed to fill the 
place William A. Spurrier, who had previously served as 
prosecuting attorney. 

There were four judges to elect in November, 1894, when 


the following were chosen : William F. Conrad, Calvin P. 
Holmes, William A. Spurrier and Thomas Stevenson. 
These are the present judges of the District Court of Polk 
County. The senior is Judge Conrad, who has served con- 
tinuously more than nine years, and, as his re-election 
shows, discharged his onorous judicial functions to the 
satisfaction of the people generally. Judge Holmes has 
also won much commendation from all, while the younger 
judges have made a most excellent start in their work. 

As previously stated, the first court in Polk County was 
held in 1846, only fifty years ago. Then a court, holding 
a few days' session twice in a year, was sufficient for the 
legal wants and demands of the community. Now, fifty 
3^ears later, we have in Polk County four judges and each 
holding court continuously for more than ten months of the 
year, and yet the people often complain of delay on account 
of the multiplicity of business before these four judges, 
each holding a separate court with all its legal machinery, 
and endeavoring to dispose of the many hundreds of causes 
brought before them for adjudication and settlement! 
And yet the people of today are hardly more litigious than 
they were fifty years ago. The causes of this immense 
increase in litigation is rather to be found in the extraor- 
dinary increase in population, business, railroads and other 
matters incident thereto. But all must remark the great 
change wrought in the comparatively short space of fifty 


1875 TO 1885. 

IN January, 1875, Constable George Sinrs was severely 
stabbed while arresting the Slater Brothers and 
John Ballard. The latter were arrested and held to 
the District Court. 

During the season of 1874-75, 71,017 hogs were slaugh- 
tered in Des Moines, the packers at that time being J. H. 
Windsor & Co., Tnttle & Igo and Joseph Shissler. 

There was a very bad snow storm in March, entirely 
blockading the railroads for some time, and causing much 
trouble and some loss. 

In May, Henry Wilson, Vice President of the United 
States, visited Des Moines, and made an address upon 
Decoration Day. He was given an enthusiastic reception. 

In the same month Jacob Workman, who was then liv- 
ing near Mitchellville, committed suicide, and in July 
George H. Buzzell, an "Indian Doctor," was drowned in 
Brooks Lake. Henrj' Lillie soon after was drowned in the 
Raccoon River. 

In Julj^ Belle Barton, Avho had been promineutly con- 
nected with the Johnson murder, and had been kept in 
custody f(jr many months as a witness and had uuirried 
George Jamieson, also more or less connected with the 
murder, died very suddenly at Omaha. At the time of 
her death she was connected with a variety tlieatre. 

In August a fire at the Getchell lumber yard caused a 
loss of some .f20,000. 


The Htate census of 1ST5 i;ave Des M(jiiies a popula- 
tion of 16,4:4:3, making tliis tlie fourth city in the t^tate. 
Dubuque Avas first, DaA'enport second and Burliuofon 
third, each having a population of 20,000. 

In Sei)tember there were extraordinary high waters in 
the rivers, and Jeremiah and Marion Winterrowd, broth- 
ers, were drowned in the Des Moines River at Kattlesnake 
Bend. In the same month a young man named Eldridge 
committed suicide bj the use of poison. 

In September the Armj' of tlie Tennessee held a reunion 
in Des Moines, and were most hospitably entertained. 
Generals Sherman, Belknap, and many other of its noted 
members, were in attendance. 

In October, Henry Clay Dean, the eccentric and noted 
Iowa preacher and orator, made one of his occasional visits 
to the city, where he had at various times delivered elo- 
quent sermons and political speeches. He then made his 
home in Missouri, near the Iowa line, in what he called 
"Rebel's Cove." 

In December the Emi)ire Mills at the old dam on the 
Des Moines River were damaged by fire to the extent of 
some $15,000. 

The Register notes that John Campbell, father of Dr. 
James Campbell, was then living in comparative good 
healtli, having reached the age of one hundred years. He 
came to Polk County in 1S47, had been tAvice married, and 
the father of sixteen children, of wlunn eleven Avere then 
living. Ilis last Avife had six children by a fcn'mer mar- 
riage, bringing the total up to twenty-two. 

Among the dead of 1875 Avere: Richard Conine, an early 
settler and veteran of the Avar of 1812; Charles Keeney, 
Avho settled near to and aided in establishing the town 
of Avon, and owned one of the first steam mills in the 


county; Lewis Jones, a mncli esteemed and prominent 
early settler; H. R. Lovejoy, one of the largest merchants 
of the early days, an honorable Christian man; Mrs. Bnsh, 
wife of Horace M. Bnsh, one of the pioneer women much 
loved; J. D. Cavenor, prominent in business at an early 
day, but for some years before his death a resident of Win- 
terset; Robert Warren, a much esteemed early settler in 
Camp Township. 

In January, 1876, considerable surprise and excitement 
was caused by the announcement that Mrs. Ellen S. Tup- 
per, the noted "Bee Woman," and quite prominent in the 
State, had been guilty of a number of forgeries. It was 
charged she had signed the names of many persons, some 
of them prominent and her special friends, to promissory 
notes and other obligations, had raised money thereon 
and used it in her business. There was no doubt of her 
guilt, but after a time these matters were settled up in 
some way, and being released by the kindness of friends 
and the plea of mental aberation from further criminal 
prosecution, she moved further West with her family, and 
it is understood died several years ago. 

In April, one Dr. Halliwill was arrested for a criminal 
operation to produce abortion on a young girl named Ella 
D. Gray, who died from the effects of the treatment. There 
was considerable excitement for a time over the affair, 
the doctor was put in jail, but so far as the record shows 
finally escaped Avith small punishment. 

Oue Gns Cudmore some time later shot Jeanette Mor- 
gan twice with a pistol, and then shot himself. Cudmore 
was arrested and jailed and subsequently found guilty 
of an attempt to murder. He and Jeanette were subse- 
quently married, when his first wife put in appearance, 
but refused to prosecute him for bigamy. 


In July the large planing mills of Caryer & Young, on 
the West Side, was destroyed by fire, entailing a loss of 
.|25,000, with no insurance. 

In the same month eight prisoners made tlieir way out 
of the county jail and regained their liberty. Four of them 
were afterward recaptured. 

In October, the Iowa Exposition was opened witli much 
display in the large building erected for it on the corner 
of Eighth and Walnut streets. Governor Kirkwood pre- 
sided at the opening, and there were several addresses, 
music, etc. 

Many of the citizens of the citj' and county visited the 
Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia this year, and mudi 
enjoyed the many and varied sights there to be seen. 

In June, Hiram McMurray hung himself until dead, and 
in August, Fred Schoen and G. W. Farghar were drowned 
in the river. 

Des Moines celebrated the Centennial Fourth, 1876, in 
grand style, it being one of the largest gatherings ever 
held in the city. The speaking, etc., was at the old fair 
grounds, and it was estimated that in the procession and 
on the grounds were some 25,000 people. The orators of 
the day were B. F. Montgomery, of Council Bluffs, and 
Dr. E. R. Hutchins, and Governor Kirkwood acted as 
president of the day, with Rev. A. L. Frisbie as chaplain. 
In the evening it was intended to have a great display 
of fireAvorks, but following a sultry day came one of the 
most violent downpours of rain ever known here. 

On that night of the Fourth of Jiily, Bird's Run, in the 
heart of the city, outdid all its previous efforts. It rose 
to unprecedented heights in a brief space of time and 
swept away bridges, culverts and streets, doing a very 


large aiiioimt of damage over a wide extent of territory. 
Then tlie most obtuse citizens were convinced that some- 
thing must be done to Bird's Enn or "Calamity Creek," 
as it Avas often termed, to prevent its oft recniTiug dam- 
age to adjoining property. At last, after many years, 
this mm has been rendered powerless for evil, and is made 
to do work as a main drainage sewer. It is related that 
in those years after almost every storm the city was 
called upon to pay more or less damages. On some lots 
it is said they paid more in the aggregate than the entire 
damaged property was worth. Tired of paying damages 
on one lot the city wisely purchased the same and it has 
now become valuable property. 

Earl.y in the Ontennial year of 1870, a company was 
org;inized in Des Moines to erect an exposition building 
and have therein a permanent exhibition of the arts and 
Industry of the city and ^>tate. The originating and mov- 
ing spirit in this enterprise was Webb T. Dart. The cap- 
ital stock of the company Avas placed at •|50,0()0, paid-u]) 
capital. The officers selected were: President, Major 
Hoyt Sherman; vice president, ex-Governor Samuel Mer- 
rill; secretary, L. M. Saiiford; treasurer, Alex. C. Talbott; 
superintendent, W. T. Dart; directors, Samuel Merrill, 
Hoyt Sherman, Oeorge II. Maish, C. II. Catch, ^^^ T. Dart, 
A. ('. Talbott and L. M. Sandfoi-d. K. L. Tidrick also be- 
came interested and prominent in the work. A han<l- 
some tliree-story brick building — 132x132 — was erected 
on the sontlnvest corner of Eighth and AValnnt streets, 
Conrad Youngerman and George Whittaker being the 
contractors. An excellent |5,000 organ av;\s placed in 
tJie building, and through the energetic efforts of Super- 
intendent Dart and the otiier officers and friends of the 
enterprise in a short tinu' a most excellent collection of 


vai-ious articles were placed within the building-. The 
luerchants and niannfacturers of the city cheerfully re- 
sponded with displays of their goods, and citizens 
generally took much pride in this exhibition, which Ayas 
certainly a nmst creditable one. The t^tate Horticul- 
tural kSociety also placed in this building its fine collec- 
tion of fruits, etc. Many curiosties, gathered through- 
out the world, were also placed on exhibition. 

On the evening of September 12, ISKi, a grand ball 
was giyen in the rooms, which was attended by hun- 
dreds of tlie gentlemen and ladies of the city, and by 
many from outside. On October 5, 187<;, the loAya In- 
dustrial Ex])osition was formally ojtened to the public, 
Hon. (leorge PI Wright delivering the address. For a 
time the exiiosition was a yery successful one, but tinally 
interest in it slackened, financial troubles came, and the 
ex])osition was closed. For months the large building 
Ayas mostly unoccupied, and then it was purchased by 
Mills »&: Co., and was for a number of years used by them 
for their large jiublishing and printing establishment, 
the largest of the kind then or noAy in the State. A few 
years ago Mills & Co. sold the building to other parties, 
Ayho subsequently remodeled and changed the former 
exposition building into tlie present large and handsome 
Iliad block, one of the most modern and fashionable build- 
ings in the city. The original builders may liaye lost some 
money thereby, but the exposition in many respects was 
a benetit to the city and the people, and the hopes of its 
projectors were thus at least ]>artially realized. 

Webb T. Dart, the main originator, cann^ to Des Moines 
about 1860 from Oslialoosa, wliVre he had been reareil. 
For a number of years he was a pushing, enterprising 
merchant of the citv, ami was \\id(dy known among our 


people. He subsequently made his headquarters at Col- 
fax, and did much to advance the interests of that well 
known resort, and aided materially in extending the fame 
of its mineral waters. Webb Dart died several years ago, 
a comparatively young man. 

Among the dead of this year were: Gen. N. B. Baker, 
the noted Adjutant General of Iowa, a generous, noble- 
hearted man ; Jeremiah Canfield, an early settler and prom- 
inent farmer in Bloomfield Township; J. H. Swope, Pre- 
siding Elder of M. E. Church; William Youngerman, an 
early settler and good citizen of Walnut Township. 

The streets of the city had up to this period remained 
nothing but what might be termed "dirt roads." True, 
many thousands of dollars had been expended in cut- 
ting and filling, grading them up or down, as the sur- 
face of the ground required, and many miles of side- 
walks had been built. But no "attempt had yet been made 
at paving, and at times in certain seasons of the year, 
some of the principal streets of the city were almost im- 
passable. It was in those times no infrequent sight to 
note teams stalled in the mud on Walnut and other of 
the main business streets and alleys, and the lots thereto 
adjoining. As the city grew in extent and population 
every citizen became convinced that something must be 
done, and that without delay, to remedy the evils so much 
complained of. The city was getting a bad name, and 
citizens of other towns made sport of this unfortunate 
condition of affairs in Des Moines. 

The evil was apparent to every one — business, conven- 
ience and health demanded a speedy change for the bet- 
ter — but how this change was to be brought aboiit was 
the question. After much talk and several years' agi- 
tation of the question a good beginning was made 


in 1878 and 1879 by the City Council inviting a noted 
civil engineer of Chicago to A'isit this city, make an ex- 
amination, and recommend some system of sewerage and 
paving, which Avas practicable and wovild make the 
streets of the city what they should be. This engineer, 
Mr. Chesebrough, came and spent some time in looking 
over the city, and then suggested a comprehensive plan 
for the sewerage of the entire city. The magnitude of the 
Avork and the cost of the same startled and alarmed some 
of the citizens — some of whom had grown rich off the 
rise in value of their city lots, and who heretofore had 
been lightly touched in pocket through special assess- 
ment — but to the credit of the City Council be it said the 
plans recommended by the engineer were finally adopted 
and work promptly commenced under the same. 

Main intercepting sewers were constructed and the 
street sewers to connect therewith were rapidly extended, 
and the original plan was extended in the course of a few 
years, and much improved upon. Then followed street 
paving, and this has been steadily pushed forward up 
to this time, when all the main business streets and alleys 
and many of the residence streets are now well sewered 
and paved. At first wood, .or cedar block, paving was 
the most popular, but this paving not proving as good or 
durable as was at first expected, within the past ten years 
hard brick paving has replaced much of the first wood, 
and all of the new paving has been of brick manufactured 
here at home. Of sewering and paving more will be found 
in another chapter. Here it only remains to say that this 
marked a distinct advance in the city of Des Moines, and 
has not only added to the convenience, comfort and 
health of the citizens, but has also added to the good 
name and to the population of the city, and the citizens 


generally are euthusiastically iu favor of continuiiiii on 
in this good work. 

BoA". Graves, the negro who had been convicted of the 
nuirder of Ella Barrett, died on New Year's Daj, 1879, 
in the penitentiary. Before his death he confessed his 
gnilt, hnt claims he was not as guilty as some others. At 
the same time he claimed Smith, who had also been con- 
victed, was not guilty. 

The newspapers stated that over one hundred thousand 
hogs were killed in the packing hovises of Des Moines in 
1S78, and it was also stated the public and private build- 
ing and improvement in the city during the year 187!) 
ran up to considerably over one million of dollars. 

Among the dead of bS7!l were: George P. llussell, an 
able young attorney; George B. Brown, landlord of the 
Aboru and other hotels; Curtis Bates, an early settler, 
able lawyer and for years jtrominent in State and local 
affairs, having been the Democratic candidate for Gov- 
ernor in 1854; Pati-ick McAttee, landlord and owner of the 
Mf)nitor House; Rev. Ezra Rathbun, one of the first Meth- 
odist preachers of the county; John R. Henry, a well known 
ex]iress agent; Charles Gray, of the noted firm of Terkius 
& tira.y. 

On February 18, 1880, Henry Osborne, a coal digger, 
brutally beat his wife to death with a stone on the public 
streets. This murder caused much excitement, and for 
a time lynch law was threatened. Osborne was subse- 
quently tried and finally sentenced to the penitenliary for 

Mar'ch 1, the celebrated Irishman, Parnell, with his 
friends, John Dillon, John Murdoch and others visited 
Des Moines, and were given a nmst hearty recepti(ni. 


In April Andrew Sneddon was fatally cut and stabbed 
by one Bond in an affray in a saloon. Sneddon died a few 
days after the affray and Bond was indicted and held for 
trial in the District Court. 

There was an extraordinary fall of rain on July 7th 
and Sth, and much damage was done in the city and 

T. W. Eichelberger, the bright and popular city editor 
of the Register, died in March, causing much sorrow to 
his many friends in this city and throughout the State. 

In September, in an affray, one Wallace shot King. The 
latter died a month or two later and Wallace was ar- 

For a number of years the question of having more and 
better bridges over the Des Moines River, and having 
the same free to the public was more or less agitated 
among the people of both city and county. Toll bridges 
were generally considered a nuisance, and better bridges 
and more of them were needed. Those in the city also 
claimed that it would be but fair for the whole county,, 
instead of the city alone, to bear the expense of erecting 
and keeping in repair these bridges, which were for the- 
accommodation of the people of the county, as well as: 
those of the city. Besides it was alleged tax;es collected 
in the city were expended in the erection and maintenance 
of bridges in the county outside of the corporate limits 
of the city. October 9, 1877, this proposition was sub- 
mitted to a vote of the people of the county: "Shall there 
be a three mill levy for eight years to pay city bridge 
bonds, their indebtedness for the building of four bridges 
across the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers, and make 
them free for public travel?" This was voted down; yeas,, 
2,326; nays, 3,371. The following year another vote was 


taken for free bridges and the proposition was again de- 
feated, but by a close vote: Yeas, 3,368; nays, 3,520. 
Two years later, ]S'OA'ember 2, 1880, the following propo- 
sition Avas submitted: "Shall an annual tax of one mill 
be levied for five years, or until paid, to pay the indebted- 
ness incurred by the city for building bridges over the 
Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers for the purpose of mak- 
ing said toll bridges free to the public travel?" This 
was carried by a majority of 1,347 — Yeas, 4,507; nays, 
3,160. Soon after this vote was taken, all the bridges 
in the city and county were made free and since that 
time no tolls have been collected. 

In one of the Registers of this year the following fig- 
ures are giA^en purporting to show the population of the 
County of Polk in the years mentioned. They may be 
correct, but their accuracy cannot be verified: 

1846 1,301 

1847 1,792 

1848 4,214 

1850 4,513 

1851 5,000 

1853 .5,939 

1854 5,368 

1856 9,417 

1858 11,847 

The newspaper review for the year 1880 claims that it 
had been a "boom" year for the city, and business and 
improvements had much increased over previous years. 
The figures giA^en were: 

Six hundred and fifty-three residences built and 

improvements .f 975,555 

Fifteen business blocks 340,000 

Improvements and repairs 55,495 

City work on streets and sewers, etc 67,529 

Grand total .|1,184,039 


There had been an increase reported in nearly every line 
of business, and the total coal trade had run beyond one 
million of dollars. 

In February, 1881, James Crane was killed by the cars 
in the western part of the city. He had formerly been one 
of the early merchants of the toAvn, but of late j^ears had 
resided on a large farm in Bloomfield Township. 

During the same month August Potthoff, a Avell konwn 
saloon keeper, and a man of considerable wealth, com- 
mitted suicide by shooting himself with a pistol. 

For the j'ear ending March 1, 1881, the pork packers 
of the city reported they had slaughtered 139,.377 hogs 
and paid out for the same -11,373,413. 

Thomas Thompson, superintendent of the stock yards 
of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, was 
caught under a car and instantlj' killed in April. lie 
came to Warren County in 1853, where for years he Avas 
a large farmer and stock raiser and dealer, and came to 
Des Moines in 1870. He was a good man and highly 

In the same month Peter Wagoner, a good farmer of 
Douglas Township, was drowned in Four Mile Creek while 
attempting to cross that stream. This 1881 was noted 
for the number of persons drowned, the total number be- 
ing twelve, in the city and county. In May, Edwin Post, 
Annie Post and Mjrtle Cotton were drowned in the Des 
Moines River by the upsetting of a boat. In July, 
Fred Ilyland and Mark Folsom were drowned in the Rac- 
coon River, and in the same month Swan Peterson was 
drowned. In June, J. W. Mclntire, head clerk for L. H. 
Kurtz, was a victim to the Des Moines River. This year 
the water in the river reached more than ordinary height 
and considerable damage resulted. 


In June, the noted amendment to the constitution of the 
State prohibiting forever the manufacture and sale of in- 
toxicating liquors in Iowa, was submitted to a vote of the 
people for adoption or rejection. The friends of prohibi- 
tion and the churches generally were zealoiis in advocat- 
ing the adoption of the proposed amendment, while the 
opposition practically had no organization. The result 
was Polk County gave a majority of 2,171 for the amend- 
ment, and it carired in the State by a majority of nearly 
30,000. Subsequently the Supreme Court of the Stnte 
declared it to be null and void, because of illegalities in 
its adoption by the General Assembly. 

This year the corj)oration of Drake University was 
formed and organized by the election of the following 
officers: President, Francis M. Drake; vice president, G. 
T. Carpenter; secretary, D. R. Lucas; treasurer, Corydon 
E. Fuller. Active steps were at once taken and a consid- 
erable tract of land purchased in the northwestern part 
of the city, then outside the corporate limits. A portion 
of this land was sold at good prices and the remainder re- 
served for University buildings, etc. From the start the 
enterprise was managed witli rare skill and much finan- 
cial ability. The buildings were rapidly pushed forward 
to completion, and in a comparatively short time tlie 
University was in operation, with many students in at- 
tendance. From the beginning Drake University has 
been a very successful institution. 

In July, Dr. Jolm Epps was shot dead by Fountain 
George. This murder occurred on the East Side and was 
deliberate on the part of George, who claimed the "Doc- 
tor" had mistreated a female relative of his. Fountain 
George was arrested and on his trial was convicted and 
sentenced to be hanged by the neck until dead. Tliis sen- 


tence was never carried out, and George died some years 
after in the penitentiary. 

On August 21, 1881, the last religious services were held 
in the old Fifth Street Methodist Church, the congrega- 
tion thereafter holding services in their fine new church 
on Pleasant and Ninth streets. The large Iowa Loan 
and Trust Building occupies the site of the old church. 

In December, Frank McOreery, a grocer of the East 
Side, went into John Martelle's restaurant, on Fourth 
street, and after a short talk and a scuffle shot Martelle 
with a pistol. The wounded man was fatally hui't, and 
after' lingering for some time died. McCreerj^ claimed that 
the dead man had some days before insulted his wife, and 
that this was the origin of the difficulty. McCreery was 
at once arrested and being tried some months after the 
shooting was found guilty of manslaughter. He got a 
new trial, and was subsequently acquitted and released. 

Among the dead of 1881 were: J. H. Hatch, who had 
been a leading merchant, mayor, member of the General 
Assemblj', etc.; Louis Ruttkay, a talented Hungarian and 
nephew of Louis Kossuth; P. W. H. Latshaw, formerly 
a merchant, member of City Council and leading citizen, 
Avlio afterwards removed to Pitsburg, Pa., where he died; 
Mrs. E. E. Allen, an earlj settler and noted as a nurse 
and physician; Mrs. Kennedy, wife of Michael Kennedy, 
the first drayman, a most estimable ladj^; Charles A. Corn- 
ing, formerly a shoe merchant, who several years before 
his death had removed to Florida; John McNamara, a 
well known and much respected Irishman, who had served 
years in the City Council and held other offices of honor 
and trust. 

The Register's summary for 1881, stated that there had 
during that year been built thirty-seven business blocks 


and seyeu hundred and tweutj'-five residences at an ag- 
gregate cost of about 12,600,000. All lines of business 
had increased and the mercantile transactions alone 
footed up a total of |25,014,11S. 

Among the improvements of 1881 was the building of 
the International distillery on the bottom east of the 
Capitol. It was stated that when completed this was the 
largest distiller)' in the world. Its capacity was in excess 
of any other in this country at that time. The main pro- 
prietor was George W. Kidd, of New York. For several 
years this distillery was in operation almost continuously 
night and day, and its output was very large, while an 
immense amount of corn and other grain was consumed 
in its operation. A large number of cattle and hogs were 
fattened in the pens connected with the distillery, and a 
large number of men, mostly skilled workmen, were given 
steady employment and liberal wages. At one time dur- 
ing 1882, the distillery was forced to suspend most of its 
operations for several weeks, owing to an attempt said 
to have been made to blow up a portion of the machinery. 
Several arrests were made and considerable litigation 
followed, but no satisfactoiw explanation was ever given 
to the public. The distillery, liowever, soon resumed op- 
erations and was successfally carried on until later on 
the proprietors were compelled to shut down on account 
of unfriendly Iowa laws and the threats of x>rohibition- 
ists and of what was termed "tlie whisky trust." It was 
generally understood the distillery passed into the con- 
trol of the "whisky ti'ust," and Avas not operated for sev- 
eral years. Then it was partly used as a malt house. It 
is now said to be under the control of Mr. Woolner, of 
Peoria, Illinois, who, it is announced, will change it into 
a large modern brewery should the Iowa General As- 


sembl,y pass a law permitting the manufacture of sucli 

Another important enterprise commencing in ISSl was 
the building of the large Gilbert Starch Works. These 
were located a little east and north of the distillery. A. 
very large and complete building was erected and filled 
all the latest machinery and appliances used in the manu- 
facture of the best quality of starch. These starch works 
emploj^ed a large number of men and women, and around 
them was soon built up the thriving suburban town of 
Chesterfield. These works were successfully operated 
for several years, when unfortunately they were destroyed 
by fire. Some years after this the present new and en- 
larged Avorks were erected. 

In January, 1SS2, two children, aged eleven and two 
years, named Harr^^ and Willie Cleer, were burned to 
death in the home of their parents in the city. 

On the night of January 11, 1882, occurred a most de- 
structive fire. This was the burning of the Clapp Block, 
on the corner of Fifth and Walnut streets. The loss at 
the time was estimated at over |100,000, with insurance 
of about 160,000. The main block was almost destroyed, 
though the vaults and rooms of the Citizens' National 
Bank partly escaped. In the stores below and rooms 
above much valuable property was lost. The Masons, 
who occupied a suite of rooms on the top floor, lost some 
|5,000 more than was covered by insurance. Morris & 
Humphrey, merchants, were also heavy losers. After 
the fire it was reported the bank had bought the prop- 
erty, but this trade fell through and the proprietor, E. 
R. Clapp, a pioneer citizen, soon cleared away the rub- 
bish and rebuilt the l)uilding, higher and more handsome 


than ever. The Forster building on the west, was also 
much damaged, but was promptly rebuilt. 

On the night of April 14, 1882, R. W. Stubbs, a prom- 
inent citizen and mayor of Polk City, was shot and killed 
in his home by one or more persons whom it is supposed 
had entered the house for burglarious purposes. This 
murder caused much excitement throughout the couutrj', 
and several persons were arrested on suspicion of having 
perpetrated or knowing who were the perpetrators of the 
crime. But these all escaped conviction, and this mur- 
der yet remains an unsolved mystery. 

July 1, George Crane shot fatally Herman Bleckman 
in Bloomfield Township, the wounded man dying from the 
effects of the ball fired. The two young men had been in 
town celebrating the Fourth and the difficulty which re- 
sulted so fatally occurred at the gate leading to Bleck- 
man's home. Crane was arrested and acquitted by a jury 
in the District Court. 

A brutal assault was made by one Harris upon J. B. 
James, a quiet, peaceable man and grocer, in the western 
part of the city. Harris beat his victim unmercifully with 
an iron fish plate and no certain cause could be assigned 
for the brutal attack. For a time it was thought James 
would die, and the citizens were terribly aroused. A large 
mob of excited people endeavored to take Harris from 
the ofiicers, and if they had captured him at the time he 
would almost certainly have been hanged. For safety 
the sheriff quietly took his prisoner to Winterset. James 
recovered, though he never became the healthy man he 
was before the assault, and Harris was tried, convicted 
and sentenced to twenty years in the penitentiary. 

About this time the Register noted the fact that Mrs. 
Mary Freel, who came to the county in 1850, was then 


living in Camp Township, in compai*ative good health, 
at the greatly advanced age of one hundred and two 


In October, Thomas C. Hedges, son of Col. N. G. Hedges, 
a jjrominent citizen, acidentally shot himself at his home 
with a pistol and died in a short time. He was an ex- 
cellent young man, whose untimely end was much de- 

November 6, the first through passenger train on the 
Wabash Railroad reached Des Moines from St. Louis. 

Among the deaths of 1882 were: John Browne, for 
many years agent of the Des Moines River Company; 
Moses W. Robinson, a noted farmer and stockman, who 
was a member from Des Moines County of the conven- 
tion which framed the present Constitution of the State; 
Mrs. E. J. IngersoU, a pleasant gifted lady; Dr. B. L. Steete, 
an early settler, noted physician and politician, and one 
of the most liberal and kindest of men; Thomas Hattou, 
Sr., an old and esteemed citizen; J. B. Bausman, an early 
settler, engineer and also at one time a newspaper writer 
and publisher; Mrs. Stewart Goodrell, an early settler, 
estimable lady and widow of Hon. Stewart Goodrell; Mrs. 
Thomas Hatton, Jr., a lady loved for her high social and 
musical gifts. 

The statistics for 1882 of the Citj of Des Moines show 
the total building and improvements of the year to have 
reached the large sum of |2,86.3,705; number of dwelling 
houses erected, 436; business houses built, 58; churches, 
5; school houses, 4. 

In the Supreme Court, January IS, 1883, Judge Seevers 
delivered the opinion of the Supreme Court, holding that 
the prohibitory constitutional amendment, carried by a 


vote of the people in the June preceding, liad not been 
constitutionally agreed to by the General Assembly, and 
was therefore void and of no effect. This decision cre- 
ated more excitement than any other decision ever ren- 
dered by that court, and eventually, though wrongfully 
caused the retirement from the court of Chief Justice 
Day, who had been upon the bench for many years. The 
decision, however, proved to be the death of constitu- 
tional prohibition in Iowa, as it has never again been 
submitted to a vote of the people, though efforts have 
been coiitinuously made to revive this amendment. 

In -January a disastrous fire occurred in the Clapp 
Block, damaging the building to the amount of |40,000, 
and causing a total loss of more than -|100,000. 

One W. A. Cline was arrested, charged with complicity 
in the murder of Stubbs at Polk City. After a long in- 
vestigation, his discharge and rearrest, he was finally re- 
leased on bail, and some months afterwards was shot and 
killed in Jasper County by his brother-in-law, John Cool. 

In September, at a boarding house on Chestnut street, 
during the holding of the State Fair, N. H. Lewis, a har- 
ness maker, stabbed and killed Arthur Fagan, a harness 
salesman. Both the men worked in the harness house of 
N. W. Hunter. Lewis was arrested and afterwards re- 
leased on bail. After a trial some months later in the 
District Court he was acquitted on the grounds of self- 

At the November term of the District Court Charles 
Wilcox was tried for complicity in the Stubbs murder at 
Polk City, the jury failed to agree, eleven being in favor 
of rendering a verdict of guilty. At another trial in the 
folloAving year upon the suggestion of the prosecuting 


attorney the jury returned a verdict of not guilty, and 
Wilcox was discharged a free man. 

During 1883 some veiy fine business buildings and 
residences were erected, among these being the Des 
Moines National Bank building, corner of Sixth and Wal- 
nut, the Mills, Weitz, Mottes buildings on Fourth street, 
the Stephenson-Dicks building, corner of Fourth and Wal- 
nut, the Harding residence in the western portion of the 
city, and many others. 

May 11, the Register in announcing the acquittal of 
George Crane, for the killing of Bleckman, said: "Four 
murders have been committed in Polk County in a year 
and not a murderer has been convicted." 

In May, Jay Gould and several other railroad and finan- 
cial magnates made a visit to Des Moines. At that time 
Mr. Gould was much interested in the extension of the 
Wabash Railroad to Des Moines. In June, Governor 
Boynton, of Georgia, Col. Howell and a number of other 
gentlemen and a few ladies from the South, visited tlie 
capital of Iowa and were given a most hospitable wel- 

In Jul,y, Frank Chapman was drowned in the Raccoon 
and A. J. Kuefner in the Des Moines River. 

In the same month the contract was awarded for the 
grading of the Diagonal, now Great Western Railroad, 
from Marshalltown to Des Moines, the grading to be com- 
pleted in ninety days. 

About 9 o'clock on the evening of July 10 two men 
came to the store and postoffice in Polk City, as the post- 
master and his clerk were closing for the night, and after 
a few words had been- spoken commenced firing at Post- 
master R. L. Clingau, who soon fell mortal!}^ wounded 


and died in a short time. No attempt was made at rob- 
bery, and the murderers at once fled. Tlie alarm was 
given and a hunt commenced for the criminals. A short 
time after two men were pursued by citizens in Shelby 
County, and a fight ensued, in which one of the fleeing 
men was killed and the other captured. Before this, how- 
ever, they shot and wounded several of the posse of cit- 
izens, one fatally. The captured man, William Hardy, 
was afterwards taken from the jail by a mob of citizens 
and hanged. It was claimed by some these were the two 
men who murdered Postmaster Clingan at Polk City. 

In August, the City Council fixed the license for saloons 
at $1,200 per annum. This the saloon owners claimed 
was too high a rate, and for a week or two kept their sa- 
loons tightly closed. The City Council, however, remained 
firm and insisted upon the high license, and finally the 
saloon men paid the price and opened their saloons. In 
August, there were fifty-two licensed saloons in the city, 
with a prospect of more by the time the State Fair was 

April 19, Capt. F. R. West and wife celebrated tlieir 
golden wedding, having been married fift_y years, over 
thirty of which had been spent in Des Moines. 

Among the dead of 1883 were: L. J. Brown, a prom- 
inent attorney; J. M. Dixon, tlie noted "Blind Editor"; 
Chris. Harbach, an early settler, furniture maker and 
dealer, and older brotlier of Louis Harbach; Mrs. Maria 
Grimmel], an early settler and notable woman, widow of 
Dr. F. C. Grimmell; Joseph Shisler, a prominent business 
man; Mrs. John Wyman, a much esteemed lady; Silas W. 
Russell, an old time and much respected printer; Mrs. J. 
P. Foster, beloved wife of ex-Ma,yor Foster; Lee R. Seaton, 
for several years a practicing attorney in this county. 


The buildinjis and improvements in the city during tlie 
year 1883 were placed at tlie large figures of 13,868,472. 

In Februar}', Frank Huff, an early settler, was found 
dead under the lower Coon bridge. It was supposed he 
fell off the bridge on the previous night while on his way 
to his home in South Des Moines. 

Peter Johnson, whose home was on the East Side, in 
March shot and killed his wife and then killed himself. 
The supposed cause was insane jealousy. 

In April, some fifteen prisoners in the county jail made 
an opening and Avalked forth in temporary freedom. 

Scott E. Smith in May committed suicide by shooting 
himself in the head with a pistol at his home in the city. 
Some time previously he had shot and fatally wounded 
James Reynolds. The latter died not long after the shoot- 
ing. Smith was arrested and subsequently tried. Tlie 
jurj returned a verdict finding him guilty of manslaugh- 
ter. He was out on bail and had good hopes of a new 
trial, but the killing and the trial so preyed upon his 
mind that his health was impaired and no doubt led him 
to kill himself. 

In September, the noted Gen. B. F. Butler, then a can- 
didate for President, visited Des Moines and addressed 
large crowds of people. 

Among the dead of 1884 were: Mrs. Gen. J. A. Wil- 
liamson, one of the most handsome and amiable of ladies, 
whose husband at the time was Commissioner of the 
United States General Land Ofiice at Washington; Dr. 
Charles H. Rawson, an early settler and noted physician 
and surgeon. ' ■ . 

The annual report places the buildings and improve- 
ments in the city for the year 1884 at |3,348,646; manu- 
factures, 115,387,920; wholesale trade, |34,445,900. 


In Jauuarj^, a large Prohibition State Convention was 
held in Des Moines, many prominent men taking part, 
and resolutions were adopted endorsing the prohibitory 
laws enacted by the last General Assembly and demand- 
ing their rigid enforcement. 

In March there was much local and State excitement 
caused by the removal from office of State Auditor Brown 
by Governor Slierman, and the appointment of J. W. Cat- 
tell as temporary State Aiiditor. Brown refused to give 
up possession of the oifice to Mr. Cattell, and after some 
friiitless negotiations the Governor called upon Adju- 
tant General Alexander to oust Brown from the audit- 
or's office. This the general proceeded to do with the 
assistance of a few of the Iowa National Guards. Sub- 
sequently State Auditor Brown was impeached by the 
House, and being tried by the Senate was acquitted. 

It was stated at the time that there was more cold 
weather during the winter of 1881-85 than had been 
knoAvn in Iowa for a period of forty-seven j'^ears. 

In March, the Supreme Court upheld the prohibitory 
laws passed by the General Assembly the previous year, 
deciding the same to be in all its features constitutional 
and valid. Tliis sweeping decision settled judicially many 
questions upon which lawyers widely disagreed. 

In April, Harry Wolfe accused his wife of having mur- 
dered and robbed a man some time previously on the 
East Side. Mrs. Wolfe Avas arrested and placed in jail, 
and liiiall}' discharged for lack of proof of her guilt. She 
claimed to be innocent and alleged the charges made were 
only the ravings of her drunken husband. 

In May, Bentley F. Osborne, a citizen of Altoona, com- 
mitted suicide, and two j'oung men of the city, Alexan- 


der Stevast and John Van ISTiewport, were drowned in 
the Des Moines River. 

During the j^ear there were a number of suicides in the 
city and county, among them being: James S. Conklin, 
on the East Side; Mrs. Minnie Sliiles, on the West Side; 
Miss Nellie Warren, Mrs. J. P. Empfield, Charles Cooper, 
Frank Rebuchadus. And in December Albert Clegg ac- 
cidentally shot and killed himself near the home of 
Charles H. Ashworth, a few miles west of the city. 

Among the dead of 1885 were: Mrs. H. C. Harris, 
daughter of A. Y. Rawson; Sumner F. Spofford, for years 
landlord of the Des Moines House, mayor, a liberal and 
noble-hearted citizen, beloved by all; Father John F. Boa- 
rill, for many years pastor of St. Ambrose Church, a noted 
and beloved priest and citizen; Levi Frantz, a hotel land- 
lord for manj^ years, and much esteemed; Mrs. Bowen, a 
charming ladj^, wife of Attorney Crom. Bowen. 

The Register, in a review of the improvements made 
in the city during the year 1885, made the following 

Public improvements | 530,505 

City improvements 217,9()3 

Residences 1,237,251 

Business houses and factories 719,905 

Suburban additions 395,525 

Making total for year 13,101,209 

This gives an indication of the rapid march of improve- 
ment during the ten years embraced in this chapter. This 
was not confined to the city alone, as during these years 
hundreds of farms were enlarged and much improved, 
new dwellings, barns, etc., erected. New towns Avere 
located, and nearly all the other towns and villages of 
the county gained largely in population and wealth. Ac- 


cording to the census of 1885 the total population of the 
County of Polk was 51,907, of which the City of Des 
Moines had 32,469. The total number of voters in the 
county was 11,094. 


1885 TO 1896. 

DURING the first few years of this period the sheriff 
aud constables were making daily, almost hourly, 
raids upon places where intoxicating liquors were 
charged with being sold, and each day the daily news- 
l)apers had accounts of from one to a dozen or more of 
these raids. It was a time when Des Moines was noted 
throughout the entire country for the number and fre- 
quency of these "searches and seizures," and also a time 
when, with strange incousistencj', the friends of prohi- 
bition pointed with pride to "Des Moines, the largest 
city in the world without a saloon." No saloons, and 
yet daily raids made upon from one to a dozen or more 
of them! Not only were these "searches and seizures" 
made, but many of the offenders were brought before the 
courts and fined or imprisoned. Not only this, but the 
courts issued scores of injunctions preventing persons 
named therein from selling or certain places from being- 
used for the sale of intoxicating liquors. This injunction 
method was an old legal process which had been invoked 
against saloons and their keepers, and was designed and 
intended to do away with jury trials in this class of cases. 
Its constitutionality had been doubted by some of the 
best legal minds, but the Supreme Court upheld it as a 
legal procedure — when applied to the sale of intoxicat- 
ing liquors. 

Many are the stories told of these times in Des Moines, 
and while true seem even now strange to those familiar 
with them, and will appear more strange to others in the 


coming years. They will wonder how snch a state of 
affairs could have been allowed to exist in a civilized 
city, making claims to enlightenment, law, order and 
common sense. During the prevalence of these liquor 
raids there were many exciting occurrences, unfortunately 
in one or two cases resulting in death and in others in 
wounds and bloodshed. On several occasions feeling ran 
so high that it was difficult for a time to prevent mob 
law from getting the upper hand. All that prevented 
this was the sober good sense of the people. And during 
all this time the illegal sale of intoxicating liquors went 
on, and it was seldom veiy difficult for any citizen to pro- 
cure all the liquors he wanted, if he had the money to pay 
for it. True, the traffic was to a certain extent driven 
from the public streets, and forced to more quiet places, 
but the traffic continued, and unfortunately was more 
confined to the stronger and more intoxicating liquors, 
the latter being more portable and more easily hidden 
from the eyes of the searchers. 

In 18SG Louis Harbach erected the large and fine build- 
ing on Walnut street, immediately west of the Kirkwood 
House, Avhich he has since used as retail salesrooms for 
his immense furniture trade. This was only one of 
a number of buildings erected by Louis Harbach in Des 
Moines, before and since that year. Among these were 
several large brick buildings on Second street, on Third 
street, on Locust, and large wai"ehouses near the railroad 
tracks. And some years ago he built one of the best 
residences in the city on the corner of Fifth and Center 

In 1887 the Iowa Loan and Tinist Company, which in a 
few years under able management had become one of the 
largest and strongest financial institutions of the State, 


erected what was then the largest and best building in 
the city, on Fifth street, on the original Methodist Church 
lot. This six-story building — 66x132 — was thoroughly 
2)lanned and thoroughly built, and since its erection has 
been filled from basement to roof with business tenants, 
besides giving to the company plenty of rooms for the 
transaction of their large and continuously growing busi- 

This 3'^ear also marked the permanent location of State 
fair grounds in this city. The liberal citizens of Des 
Moines subscribed some $50,000 for the purchase of 
grounds for the purpose, and some three hundred acres 
were secured about one mile or more east of the State 
(Japitol. These grounds were diversified, with hill and 
level plain, and early in the year 1886 Avork was com- 
menced in erecting buildings, arranging tracks and road- 
ways, and making other permanent improvements, so as 
to be ready for the annual fair in the following Septem- 
ber. The State made an appropriation for this purpose, 
and the fair was duly held, the first one ever held on the 
Agricultural Society's own grounds. 

In 1886 William Slater, a well known business man, 
member of the firm of Mennig & Slater, accidentally fell 
in an elevator shaft at his place of business, and was 
fatally injured, dying in a few days thereafter. His death 
was much deplored. 

Tuesday morning. May 25, 1886, the Daily Leader office 
was almost totally destroyed by fii*e, entailing a loss to 
the proprietors of about $25,000, only partially covered 
by insurance. At that time the Leader was publislied 
in the brick building on the north side of Court avenue, 
between Third and Fourth streets. With the Leader Avas 
also mostly destroyed a large job and lithographing estab- 


lishment. Notwitlistaudiug- the lieavy loss the Leader 
was promptly issued the following day and continued its 
regular publication. 

This same year came the trial of impeachment of kState 
Auditor Brown before the State Senate. After a hearing 
of some forty days Auditor Brown was acquitted. 

Herbert M. Hoxie died this year and was buried in. 
AVoodland Cemetery. He had been reared in this county, 
coming here at an early day with his father, and lived for 
several years with liis relative, Thomas Mitchell. He had 
been clerk of courts for the county, United States mar- 
slial during the war, was one of the builders of the Union 
Pacific Railroad, and became a prominent railroad official 
and manager. He died at St. Louis. 

The improvements in the way of building, paving, etc., 
in the City of Des Monies during the year 1886 are given 
by the Eegister at $3,420,500. The business transactions 
of tlie year are placed at |(i8,474,89G. 

Marcli 1, 1SS7, Ed R. Clapp, a well known citizen, cele- 
brated the completion of fifty years residence in Iowa by 
giving an (dd-fasliioned dinner at his home to a number 
of the early settlers. Tlie numerous compajij"^ heartily 
enjoyed this reunion. Mr. Clapp can now celebrate his 
fifty years of continuous I'esidence in Polk County, lie 
having made Des Moines liis home in February, 184G. 

About LS87 h'uburbau real estate was "booming," and 
continued to "boom" for several years. Numerous tracts 
of land, esiiecially to tiie north and west of the city were 
laid out in lots, rapidly sold and generally built upon. 
These buildings were mostly residences, and many of 
these were large, handsome and costly. In August of 
tliis vear T^rake TTniversitv sold at auction a number of 


lots in that then yiUage, realizing some .|25,000 on the 
sales of one day. New towns and villages in a few years 
completely surrounded the city, having local governments 
of their own- and vieing with each other in growth and 
advancement. They were all later on included in the cor- 
porate limits of the enlarged city. Among those most 
active in the laying out of these additions were: Lowry 
W. Goode, Dr. Likes, Ilatton & Percival, Polk & Ilubbell, 
and a host of others. For some years the land agents and 
real estate operators were as thick on Fifth street as tliey 
were in the early da,ys on Second and Walnut streets, 
when the rush was on for government lands; and in these 
latter times Tom Cox daily "wrote them up for the news- 

In April, 1887, Foster's elegant new opera house was 
partially destroyed by fire, but was soon rebuilt larger, 
better and more handsome than ever. In May fire de- 
sti*03'ed the home of James Stanton, an early settler, liv- 
ing in Bloomfield Townshi]), a few miles south of the 

The new Saverj^ House, corner of Fourth and Locust 
sti'eets, Avas built in 1887, at a cost of considerably over 
1100,000. The citizens purchased and donated the lots, 
and Eastern capitalists furnished the money for the erec- 
tion of this large and elegant modern hotel. 

The raids of the searchers and prosecutions under the 
l>rohibitory law continued this year in full vigor, and 
early in the year, March 10, B. E. Logan, a constable, was 
shot and almost instantly killed by Joseph Row, a team- 
ster in the employ of Hurlbut, Ward & Co. This shooting 
occurred in the ware rooms of the finn mentioned and 
caused much excitement. The coroner's jurj'^ decided Row 
had acted in self-defence, but he was subsequently in- 


dieted, convicted, and sentenced to imprisonment for a 
few years. 

By this time many of tlie citizens of the city and county 
had become thoroughly disgusted with the prohibitory 
law and especially the manner of its attempted enforce- 
ment. This resulted in many Republicans, some of whom 
then and afterwai'ds were leaders in that party, making 
a temporary break away and uniting with Democrats and 
others in an independent political movement. They nom- 
inated a legislative and county ticket, and after a vigor- 
ous campaign were partially successful, securing the elec- 
tion of A. B. Cummins to the General Assembly and also 
of Sheriff Loomis. This was a hard blow at the then pre- 
vailing "searches and seizures," and, though continued 
for several years more, they began rapidly to lose public 
approval and favor until thej^ were finally abandoned. 

The Court House flowing well, which has proven such a 
convenience and comfort to so many, by reason of its cold, 
clear but highly impregnated waters, was drilled in 1887. 
It goes to a depth of 380 feet. 

In 1887 Constables Potts and Hamilton were indicted 
for assault, with intent to kill, but after a few months' 
delay, Avhen placed on trial, were acquitted. 

In 1887 B. F. Jaquith and the Des Moines Saddlery 
Companjr erected the large building on the north side of 
Court avenue, between Third and Fourth streets, now oc- 
cupied bj^ these large wholesale establishments. 

About this time there was considerable excitement in 
the city and county over the supposed discovery of res- 
eiwoirs of natural gas, and many were the speculations 
indulged in on the subject. Some lands were bought or 
leased and several holes bored, but no large permanerit 


supplj' of gas could be found, and these speculations were 
soon abandoned. 

The building and other improvements in 1887 are 
given in the newspapers as follows: Business houses and 
residences, .12,967,988; other improvements, including 
public buildings, paving, etc., -f 1,552,800; total volume of 
business, $61,891,207. This was a considerable improve- 
ment over 1886. 

The constables continued their work during most of 
the year 1888, but the tables were turned and they were 
occasionally themselves arrested, charged with crimes 
and misdemeanors. Pierce was arrested for bribery or 
accepting bribes, and being vigorously prosecuted by 
County Attorney Phillips, was convicted in the District 
Court. He appealed and finally the Supreme Court set 
aside his conviction. Potts and Hamilton, constables, 
were also charged with the same offense and Potts was 
convicted in the lower court, but the Supreme CoTirt 
finally came to his relief. 

At the March election, 1888, Caii^enter, Democrat and 
Populist, defeated Finkbine, the Eepublican nominee for 
mayor, by a majority of 636 votes. 

On March 11 of the same year T. B. Cockerham, of 
Sa,vlor Township, committed suicide by shooting himself 
with a shotgun, and in the following July Daniel Bart- 
ruff, a prominent farmer of the same township, was killed 
by being thrown from his wagon. 

On April 27, the Leader printing office was again de- 
stroyed by fire, entailing a loss of some $25,000, only par- 
tially covered by insurance. Zeigler & Olsen were then 
the managers of the newspaper. The Homestead office 
also suffered a heavy loss, it being in the Leader building. 


Both newspapers contiuued publication with little if any 

During this year the platting of new additions and sub- 
divisions continued unabated, and among the companies 
formed was what was termed the "Vermont Syndicate/' 
which handled the Kingman Place and made of it a very 
valuable addition to the city. 

In December Edward Slavin was mortallj^ injured in 
an affray with some Italians, and died in a short time 
afterwards. Subsequently Augustine Di Pompa, an Ital- 
ian, was indicted for the killing of Slavin, and after a trial 
in the District Court, was convicted of manslaughter. He 
wts, however, granted a new trial and finally acquitted. 

During the year 188S two former well known citizens 
of Des Moines died, Webb T. Dart in Colorado, and Eev. 
Thomas O. Rice, for years pastor of the Central Presby- 
terian Church, in Massachusetts. 

In 1889 Governor William Larrabee was indicted by 
a Polk County grand jury for criminal libel, growing out 
of the somewhat noted Chester Turuej^ case. The Gov- 
(M'nor demanded a speedy trial, and this being had, was 
promptly acquitted. This was the first time in the his- 
tory (jf the State that the Governor was called upon To 
defend himself from a criminal charge in court, and this 
prosecution had little if any foundation in fact. 

In March the Leader Printing Company made an as- 
signment to Phil S. Kell, giving liabilities of over .|18,000. 
The assignee continued publication of the Daily and 
Weekly Leader for some time or until the entire concern 
was sold to Henry Stivers, who continued its proprietor 
and editor until 1895. 

Some time previous a number of gentlemen had formed 
a new street railway company and laid some miles of 


track. Litigation liad ensued between the new and the 
ohl company, and the Supreme Court decided that the ohl 
company had an exclusive right to the streets of the city 
for this purpose. This was a hard blow to the new broad 
guage companjr, but upon a reliearing the Court modified 
this exclusive right to horse cars. This let in electric and 
steam cars. At once an electric company was formed, 
to run cars by electricity in different parts of the city, while 
Dr. Likes and others started the construction of what was 
termed the "Belt Line," the cars to be propelled by steam. 
The City Council promptly gave charters or permits, and 
in 1889 was started the first of the electric lines which now 
penetrate eveiy portion of the city. Of these mention is 
made more fully in another chapter. 

In June Callanan College was injured by fire to the ex- 
tent of some $6,000. A few weeks previous Miss Belle 
Bennett, of Ottumwa, a scholar of Drake University, was 
drowned in the Des Moines river by the upsetting of a 

Public improvements, such as paving, sewering, etc., 
were carried on extensively during this year, one of the 
newspapers stating that in August more than eleven 
hundred men Avere then employed upon city Avork. And 
the improA'enients by the citizens were many and large. 

In September, 1889, during the State Fair, came the first 
of the noted Seni om Sed celebrations, which for a few 
years were noted throughout the countr,y. They were 
grand affairs. The main streets of the city were illum- 
inated by innumerable gas and electric lights, and on 
Tuesday night of the first week of vSeptember came the 
grand procession, with its floats, tableaux and many varied 
displays. It was a long and brilliant line. The busi- 
ness men and women of Des Moines had taken hold in a 


generous and vigorous manner, and made it the most cele- 
brated display in the annals of the city. 

In December the notorious constables, Potts and Ham- 
ilton, in arresting a man beat him brutally with their clubs. 
This becoming generally known and perhaps magnified, 
that evening when the constables came upon the street 
they were pursued and hustled by an angry mob of men. 
They finally managed to escape from tlie angry people into 
a clothing store, and were temporarily placed in a vault 
for safe keeping. It was with difficulty the entire avail- 
able police force could protect these obnoxious constables 
from tlie excited people, but finally the,y were carried off 
and held in the custody of the police until the excitement 
had somewhat abated. 

The building and otlier improvements, by the city and 
many private individuals during tlie year 1889, were 
place<l at 13,239,158; jobbing trade for the year, 124,193,- 
261; and manufactures at 110,914,330. The insurance 
premiums received by home companies during the year 
were over one and one-half million of dollars, and the real 
estate transfers footed up over ten millions of dollars. 

In November, 1889, Rev. J. A. Nash, the pioneer Baptist 
minister, met with an accident by which his thigh bone 
was broken, and he was laid up for many months. 

In Grant township, January 10, 1890, a lad named 
Joseph Dixon was shot by another lad, Ed. Daugherty, and 
died in a few days after the shooting. The coroner's jury 
found the shooting liad been purposely done, and Daugh- 
erty was indicted. Upon his trial a few months later he 
was acquitted on the ground that the shooting was acci- 

On March 3, "Dude'' Henderson, a young negro with not 


the best reputation, -n^as shot by Constable William Skin- 
ner, while the latter was searching tlie Henderson house. 
The wound was a severe one, and for a time supposed to be 
mortal, but the ^^oung negTO finally recovered. 

In the spring of 1890 the boundaries of tlie city of Des 
Moines were extended so as to take in nearly all tlie subur- 
ban towns and villages, among the latter being North De;^ 
Moines, Sevastopol, Chesterfield, Highland Parlv, Drake 
University, etc., covering territory in eight different civil 
townships, and adding forty-six square miles to the old 
city area. 

April 14, the large Gilbert Starch works in the eastern 
portion of the city were destroj'ed by fire, entailing a loss 
of .1250,000, with |200,000 insurance, and throwing a large 
number of men and women out of employment. For a 
year or two the ruins were left untouched, but finallj' the 
Avorks were rebuilt larger and better than before. 

On the night of April 9, a burglar entered the residence 
of George P. Grimes, a grocer on the East Side, and being 
discovered hj Grimes, several shots were exchanged. 
Grimes was shot in or near the eye so as to cause the loss 
of that organ, and the burglar was seriously wounded. 
The latter, who was an ex-couvict by the name of James 
Qiiin, recovered from his wound, was tried, convicted and 
sentenced to the penitentiary for twenty-five years. He 
was sent to the penitentiary, but died in a short time from 
the effects of drinking water in which he had steeped 
matches while in the county jail. Before his death he ac- 
knowledged his crimes and admitted he endeavored to kill 

In 1890, S. A. Robertson, Martin Flynu, and several 
others organized the Des Moines Brick Manufacturing 


('ompany, aii«T the following year had their large works in 
successful oi)eratioii. They led tlie Avay iu the direction of 
making brick by machinery, and may be regarded as pio- 
neers in this now one of the largest indiistries of the city. 
At the present time there are five large works in or near 
tlie city engaged in tlie manufacture of paving and build- 
ing brick wliich have gained an enviable reputation 
throughout Iowa and other states. 

During this year came the charge of "boodling" made 
against members of the City Council. Investigations were 
iiad and man,y charges made, and finally eleven former 
and then members of the cfiuncil Avere indicted for having 
received illegal compensation for their services. There 
was much excitement and some feeling over the matter for 
a time. l°^ome of the indicted members were tried and 
acquitted, and most of them refunded to the city certain 
amounts of money, and tinally the whole matter was in 
some way settled u]) and dropped out of sight. 

In May, two boys, Clarence Hickox and Jonas Eussell, 
about sixteen years of age, met with a singular accident. 
Tliey luid dug a cave in tlie bank of the river as a place of 
resort, and wliile they were in it, a cave-in occurred, and 
they were smothered to death underneath the fallen eartli. 
Their bodies were }n>t found until some time after their 
<leatli, and tlien only after a protracted search on the part 
of the parents. 

June 23, Frank Pierce, the noted constable and searclier, 
shot Terry Chambers in an eating house near the post- 
office. Chambers was severely wounded and for a time it 
was feared he would die. The shooting naturally caused 
much excitennuit, and Pierce was arrested and placed un- 
der bonds of .|."),000. Chambers finally recovered. About 
this time nearly all the newspapers of the city had ceased 


to defend or uphold the searchers, and the Register called 
the attention of citizens to the fact that fees charged np 
by justices and constables, nearly all in these "whisky 
cases," had in six months run up to the enormous amount of 
over thirty thousand dollars! And this Avas what the 
taxpayers would be called upon to pay for these "searchers 
and seizures!" 

July 12, Carl Coggeshall, the bright son of Mr. and Mrs. 
J. M. Coggeshall, a boy who was born and reared in the 
city, was drowned in the Des Moines river while bathing. 

The ^eni oni Sed celebration of the year previous was 
repeated this year, and it was claimed was much imi)rove(l 
upon. One of the newspapers of the day spoke of it as 
"the greatest procession ever seen in the Nortliwest." It 
was considered a splendid advertisement of Des Moines, 
as was also the fact that the United States census of that 
year gave the City of Des Moines a total population of 
51,582. The 50,000 mark had been reached and passed. 

For some months the town was shocked and also at times 
amused at the robberies and other depredations of a mys- 
terious personage who was given the name of "Jim, the 
climber," because of the ease and facility with which he 
entered upper windows. He was finally arrested and 
handed over to the authorities under the name of Connors 
or Fitzgerald. He lias since reformed, is in legitimate 
business now, and a short time since spent several days 
visiting in this city. 

Sunday, October 29, 1890, Franklin Xagle and Eebecca 
Johnson-Nagle, his good wife, celebrated the 64th anni- 
versary of their marriage at their pleasant home on the 
farm nortliAvest of Baylorville, upon which they had lived 
for forty-five years. Both of these early settlers are now 


In these years death was busy among the early settlers 
and prominent men and women of the city and county. 
Among the dead of 1890 were: Coker F. Clarkson, promi- 
nent in the State and father of the Clarkson Brothers of 
the Register; Jacob D. McClain, an early settler and prom- 
inent citizen of Jefferson township; Hezekiah Monroe, an 
ex-alderman and noted citizen; John Mitchell, for twelve 
years judge and a leading citizen; and Augustus Newton, 
ex-mayor and once leading merchant. Among the dead 
of 1891 were: James C. Jordan, one of the earliest set- 
tlers, a member of both houses of the General Assembly, 
a leading farmer and citizen; Mrs. Anna N. Savery, wife 
of James 0. Savery, who lived in Des Moines many years, 
a noted lady; Thomas Cavanaugh, ex-mayor and promi- 
nent citizen; Col. W. H. Merritt, ex-editor and postmaster, 
who commanded the First Iowa at the battle of Wilson 
Creek; George Sneer, ex-mayor, early settler and good citi- 
zen; E. J. IngersoU, founder of the Hawkeye Insurance 
Company, a leading and wealthy citizen. 

Mary Harrity, a woman living on the East Side, died 
from woimds alleged to have been inflicted by Patrick Cof- 
fey. The latter was arrested in the southern portion of 
the State, and brought back to be tried for the crime 

June 30, the notorious constable, Frank Pierce, got into 
an altercation at the city dump, with S. H. Wishart, an old 
soldier and special policeman, and shot him, giving a fatal 
wound from which Wishart died in a short time. Pierce 
was not then engaged in his searclies and seizures, but was 
in the business of scavenger. Wishart had been ordered 
to forbid Pierce from dumping his loads at the place and in 
carrjdng out these orders was shot and killed. Pierce was 
placed in jail, where he remained for some time, and was 


finally released, on heavy bail. He was subsequently tried 
in Warren County, conTicted and sentenced to four and 
one half years in the penitentiary. He appealed to the 
Supreme Court, and after a delay of a year or more the 
judgment was affirmed and Pierce was taken to the pen- 
itentiary, where he now is. 

George W. Potts, another of these constables, who liad 
been previously convicted and appealed to the Supreme 
Court, had his sentence affirmed and he too was taken to 
the penitentiary to serve out the sentence, a portion of 
which was afterwards commuted by the governor. 

In December, 1891, Sim Eeardon, a somewhat noted 
character, was shot by Officer Skinner, and died from his 
wounds a few weeks thereafter. The coroner's jury, while 
finding the shooting in this case in the line of the officer's 
duty, censured the too free use of pistols by officers when 
making arrests. 

In the account of the improvements in the city during 
the year 1891, the total cost of public and private buildings, 
etc., is placed at |4,.301,334, among these being the New 
York Equitable Life Insurance Comi)any's building, upon 
which $280,000 had been expended during the year, and 
the new block of Conrad Youngerman, upon which he had 
expended |125,000. The manufactiires of the year were 
placed at $14,196,576, the jobbing trade at -134,845,611, 
while the real estate transfers footed up over nine mil- 
lions of dollars. 

Sam Roan, of bad reputation, in February made a brutal 
assault on an old man named Frank H. Busby, living near 
the water works. The old man finally recovered and Roan 
was promptly placed in jail. 

Much excitement was caused at the State Capitol by 
reason of a brutal assault made by State Senator George L. 


Finn, of Taylor County, upon H. M. Belyel, an attache of 
the senate and neAyspaper correspondent. Belvel had 
written something to which the senator took exceptions^ 
and being a stout athletic man he made a sayage attack 
on P>elyel, who was old and weak and not able to properly 
defend himself. No special action was taken by the senate 
in the matter, and the senator was allowed to go unpim- 

In Marcli, Jeannette Allen, a notorious woman of the 
town, was conyicted in the District Court, under a. recent 
seyere law, of keeping a bawdy liouse, and sentenced to 
eighteen months confinement in the penitentiaiy. She 
seryed her term and then returned to Des Moines and for a 
time re-entered her old business. 

In April, James Cockerham, living near the poor farm,, 
went to a house where his divorced wife, Nancy, lived, and 
with little warning shot dead W. S. Davis, who was in the 
house, and while his wife was endeavoring to escape shot 
and killed her. He then went a short distance and killed 
himself. Jealousy and hatred were the supposed causes 
of the tragedy. 

In April, Prank Pierce had liis trial for the killing of 
Officer Wishart, before the Warren County court. He was 
convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to four and (me- 
half years in the penitentiary. He appealed, but the Su- 
preme Court affirmed the judgment and he is now serving 
out his sentence. 

In May, Fred Crafton shot and killed Mabel Swartz, a 
handsome but wayward young girl. It was claimed tlie 
shooting was accidental, but the coroner's jury held differ- 
ent. Crafton was subsequently tried and found guilty of 
the crime, and sentenced to a term in the penitentiary. He 
was subsequently pardoned by the governor, through sym- 


pathy for his aged mother and his young wife, and doubts 
as to his criminal intent in shooting the girl. 

In May, Ed. Sheridan died from the effects of a gun- 
shot wound, but how it was received and by whom fired 
was never clearly ascertained. 

A stir was made over the indictment and trial in the 
United States Court, of J. C. Newton, President of the Des 
Moines & Kansas City Eailroad Company, charged with an 
attempt to defraud the government in the weight of mails 
carried by his road. After a long and exciting trial he was 

Among the dead of 1892 were: Newton Lamb, a much 
esteemed old settler who came to the county and opened 
the farm upon which he died, in 1845; J. P. Casady, a 
brother of P. M. Casady, a former resident here and after- 
wards a distinguished citizen of Council Bluffs; George 
W. Baldwin, a much esteemed citizen; James Smith, the 
first nurseryman in the county, an eccentric but valuable 
citizen; Mrs. Charles Aldrich, an estimable lady, wife of 
the curator of the State Historical Department; Leopold 
Hirsch, a popular clothing merchant. 

In December, 1892, Peter Sutter, an old and wealthy res- 
ident of the county, who had recently taken up his resi- 
dence in the city, in a fit of passion murdered his wife, by 
beating her to death with a chair or club. She was his 
second wife, and had previously been Mrs. Squires. At 
the time of the tragedy they were living in West Des 
Moines. Sutter was arrested, but while in jail committed 
suicide by cutting his throat. 

The improvements made by the city in 1892 was figured 
at 1533,704, the buildings, etc., erected and improvements 
made by individuals at |2,860,190, and the real estate 
transfers amounted to more than eight millions of dollars. 


In February, 1893, the Spencer block, in which was lo- 
cated the Daily News office, was badly injured by fire, and 
the proprietors of the News suffered a heavy loss. The 
publication of the News was, however, continued without 

Sam King was fatally shot by Police Officer Seidler and 
died from the effects of the wound. The coroner's jury in 
their verdict justified the officer and he was not prose- 

In May, Dan Stewart, a horse trainer, near the Fair 
Grounds, assaulted Mrs. O. Webb Noon. He drugged her 
and afterwards poisoned himself and was found dead. 
Mrs. Noon recovered. 

In July, Frank Le Roy was shot and killed while being 
pursued by Detective Bain and Police Officer Reich. The 
officers were exonerated by the authorities. 

In July, came the tornado at Pomeroy, Iowa, Avhich 
caused the loss of so many lives and the destruction of so 
much property. The citizens of Des Moines at once organ- 
ized relief committees and donated liberally of cash and 
goods to help the sufferers. Many thousands of dollars 
in money and goods were i^romptly sent from this city. The 
Des Moines Insurance Companj^ of this city, had tornado 
risks on much of the property destroyed, and promptly ad- 
justed and paid their losses in cash, paying out between 
•130,000 and .|I0,000 for this purpose, and doing much to 
help the distressed people of that unfortunate town and 

In July, Alexander McGarraugh and wife of Camp town- 
ship, celebrated the fifty-second anniversary of their mar- 
riage. They came to Polk county in 1849, and always 
ranked among the best of the early settlers. 


Among the dead of 1893 were: Thomas F. Withrow, 
General Solicitor of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific E. 
R. Company, formerly of Des Moines, bnt during the later 
years of his life a resident of Cliicago; Nicholas Baylies, 
an early settler and member of the General Assembly for 
I'olk County; Ben F. Kauffman, a leading attorney; C. D. 
Sprague, for j^ears agent here for the Rock Island Railroad ; 
W. H. McHenry, an early settler, sheriff, attorney, and for 
eight years judge of the district court; William A. Hunt, 
one of the early blacksmiths, and Avho had lost his arm at 
the battle of Pea Ridge, while a soldier in the gallant 
Fourth Iowa Infantrj^ 

In December Governor Boies pardoned G. W. Potts, one 
of the constables of search and seizure notoriety, who had 
been convicted of perjury, and he was released from the 

In January, 1894, two little children, Sadie and Zoda 
Ilobson, were burned to death in a fire at the dwelling 
house of their parents. 

Risser's large stock of diy goods in his store on the East 
Side was greatly injured by fire in Febiaiary, the loss foot- 
ing up some 140,000 with ,|35,000 insurance. 

The Register figured up that the salaries paid the county 
and city officers, school teachers, etc., in Des Moines, and 
Polk county, reached in one year fully |500,000, or more 
than one-half million dollars. These are large figures for 
a town and count}-, neither of which had been in existence 
fifty years. 

John Hopewell, a well known restaurant keeper, in Feb- 
ruary committed suicide on account of financial troiibles. 
His wife attempted suicide at the same time but was saved 
by timely help. About this time or during some three 


mouths thereabouts, a suicidal epidemic appeared to pre- 
vail iu city aud couuty. Not a week passed Avithout there 
was reported one or more cases of suicide or attempt at 
the same. 

Iu the latter part of April came one of the most strange 
sights and experiences ever seen or felt in the county. 
This was the coming of Captain Kelly and his army of "com- 
mon-wealers." They had entered Iowa at Council Bluffs, 
and being refused free transportation by the railroad, de- 
termined to march across the State. Their progress ou the 
way to Des Moines attracted much attention, and caused 
no little excitement. When they arrived at Des Moines 
there were more thau one thousand men and a few women 
in their ranks. They were almost destitute and had to be 
taken care of. An arrangement was made hj Avhich they 
marched through the city, and finally encamped on the 
East Side in buildings originally designed for stove works. 
Under the circumstances the soldiers in the army behaved 
very well. The city, aided by citizens in town and couuty, 
made liberal provisions for feeding this not very Avelcouie 
army, but wanted to have them move on as soon as possi- 
ble. No arrangements for their transportation could be 
made with the railroad companies, and finally a scheme 
was originated of transporting them b.y boats down the 
Des Moines river. This new-old idea was acted upon, and a 
number of roughly built flat boats were constructed at this 
point, and after a delay of ten days or two weeks, Kelly's 
"common-wealers" started May 9 upon their voyage to the 
Mississippi by way of the Des Moines river. The citizens 
hailed their arrival with curiosity and witnessed their de- 
parture with pleasure. They had had enough of them. 
The "common-wealers," after manj^ vicissitudes and the 
drowning of a few and the ducking of many, reached the 


Mississippi river and afterwards the Ohio, but few of them 
ever got through to their original destination — Washing- 
ton. It is noted that Kelly's army departed by boats from 
here on the anniversary of the first arrival of troops at the 
new Fort Des Moines, by steamboat. May 9, 1843. 

On April 24th Michael Smith, an old railroad man, died 
suddenly and in such a manner as to arouse the suspic- 
ions of physicians and others that all was not right. Sub- 
sequently Mrs. Smith's sister accused Mrs. Smith of having 
caused the death of Michael by administering jjoison to 
him. Mrs. Smith was arrested, indicted and upon trial 
Avas adjudged guilty and sentenced to imprisonment for 
life. Subsequently her daughter, Cora, step-daughter of 
the murdered Smith, confessed that she herself had admin- 
istered poison to her step-father, and that this poisoning 
by her aunt and herself was for the two-fold purpose of 
putting Smith out of the way and also to procure what was 
left of his savings and the proceeds of his insurance poli- 
cies. The daughter was sent to join her mother in the 
Anamosa penitentiary. 

The Supreme Court having affirmed the sentence against 
him in the Warren connty court, in May Frank Pierce, the 
notorious constable, was again arrested by the sheriff and 
taken to Fort Madison penitentiary to serve his sentence 
of four and one-half years. It is reported that Pierce has 
become an expert chairmaker in that institution, and be- 
having himself will reduce his term to a little over three 

Great excitement was caused by the shooting and kill- 
ing of Conductor Ridpath of the Great Western Railroad, 
on Third street by two young foot-pads. This murder is 
treated of more fully in the chapter on crime. 

In July there was some excitement in Des Moines and 


much in other parts of the country over the great railroad 
strike, which affected several of the roads leading into Des 
Moines. The strikers made several demonstrations here 
and at times the excitement ran high, but foi'tunately 
there was little violence to mar the fair fame of the railroad 
men and the city. 

In August there was some excitement over the applica- 
tions for injunction against a number of the mulct saloons 
which had been in peaceful operation in the city for several 
mouths. After much litigation Judge Spurrier decided 
that the "petition of consent" was not exactly legal or suf- 
ficient. This closed the saloons for a few weeks, and to 
some extent revived the old order of things. But the sa- 
loon-men by systematic effort soon procured a new peti- 
tion of consent signed by more than a majority of the legal 
voters of the city, and this being satisfactory even to the 
ojjponent of the saloons the latter were again opened for 

In August was the celebration of what was termed "Bat- 
tle Flag Day,'' when the old torn and tattered flags of the 
Iowa regiments were removed from the old arsenal to the 
State eapitol, there to be deposited and preserved. There 
were some four thousand old soldiers in line that day. And 
on September Gtli the laying of the corner stone of the 
State Sohliers and Sailors monument was appropriately 

In September George Browne was fatally craslied by a 
switch engine in the yards. He was a son of John Browiie, 
so well known for many years as the agent of the owners 
of what are termed the Des Moines river lands. 

Among the dead of 1894 were: George C. Baker, an old 
soldier, county auditor, barbed wire manufacturer and 
distinguished inventor; Rev. S. S. Hunting, an able Unitar- 


ian minister; Dr. Hobbs, Cliristian minister and professor 
in Drake University; Tliomas Mitchell, one of the earliest 
and best loved of the early settlers; Thomas S. Wright, 
an able attorney and general solicitor of the Rock Island 
Railroad, son of Geo. G. Wright, and born in Iowa; N. B. 
Collins, for years a well known and active bnsiness man 
and farmer; Stephen Brooks, one of the early sellers and 
long a resident of Delaware township. 

In September came a most severe wind and rain storm, 
doing much damage in the city and country. 



DUEING the first years of the history of the section of 
country now comprising Polli county, there may have 
been some murders or at least manslaughters com- 
mitted, by or among the Indians, but of these we have no 
record, nor were any of them taken notice of judicially by 
the courts. At first military Law was supreme and there 
was little appeal from the summary judgment of the U. 
S. officer in command of the post. There were then no 
writ of habeas corpus or jury trials. The legal machinery 
of courts, attorneys, sheriffs, etc., were not at first in oper- 
ation in this county, and after they were established the 
people themselves were sometimes prone to administer in 
their own summary manner what they regarded as justice 
if not law. 


In the early days of the country occurred what was 
known as "the Reeves mob," and caused considerable ex- 
citement in town and country. A family by the name of 
Reeves had settled at Linn Grove on North River, and were 
soon suspected and afterwards openly charged with being 
connected with horse thieves and other criminals, who 
more or less disturbed a peaceful and generally honest 
community at that early day. The settlers may not have 
had legal proof of the guilt of the Reeves familj^, but they 
became fully satisfied as to their bad character, and they 
promptly decided to drive them from the community in 
which their presence was not desired. Accordingly a 


large number of the settlers gathered together aud going 
to the ReeA'^es home ordered the obnoxious family to leave 
the country forthwith, and also stating that a failure upon 
their part to depart as told would bring upon them certain 
and severe punishment. The Reeves understood this gen- 
tle hint, and immediately left, but to the dissatisfaction of 
the settlers located in Fort Des Moines, where the citizens, 
much as thej^ desired an increase in population, did not 
give them a very hearty reception. The male portion of 
the Reeves family consisted of two old men and several 
grown sons. 

Not long after settling in Des Moines one of the young 
Reeves managed to get into a difficulty with and shot and 
seriously wounded a man named Phipps. Reeves was 
arrested, examined, held to the district court, and for safe 
keeping placed in the jail at Oskaloosa, there being no 
jail in Polk County at that time. This again aroused the 
ire of the settlers on North river and thereabouts, and they 
became satisfied that the safety of themselves and their 
property required that the. whole Reeves brood should not 
only be driven from the county, but also from the State. 
These settlers made up a company of some sixty men, all 
armed, and detemiined to march upon Des Moines aud 
there capture and finally dispose of the Reeves family. 
Some idle threats may have been made at the people at the 
Fort for having harbored the Reeves family, and a few of 
the citizens became somewhat alarmed upon hearing it 
was the intention of the North river army to "clean out the 
town." Colonel Baker and a few other citizens were 
alarmed at the wild reports of the saA^age intentions of the 
people of North river, and they started out to muster up 
enough fighting men to save the Fort from "capture, sack 
and pillage." Scouts were sent out to reconnoitre the foe 


and other war like i^reparations were made. But manT 
of tlie citizens were not alarmed at all of this bluster. 
They were well acquainted with the North river settlers, 
and knew they had no such sanguinary intentions as wild 
rumor charged them with. It was known the Eeeves fam- 
ily were the only ones that Avere in any danger, and they 
were not loved while present and would not be mourned 
when absent. 

In about one week after the reports had commenced to 
circulate, and the morning after the shooting of Phipps, 
theXorth river men appeared in the timber near the mouth 
of the Racco(jn river. They sent two men across to find 
out exactly where the Reeves family were domiciled, and 
also to ascertain if the citizens of the Fort would make any 
resistance. These scouts located the sought for Reeves 
in a house on the outskirts of the town and reported that 
Colonel Baker and his command were about to lay down 
their arms while they ate their dinners, and the citizens 
generally cared little what they done with the Reeves 
family. They didn't claim them or want them and would 
not ])rotect them. Forward was the order and the North 
river troops fording the 'Coon dashed through the town in 
single file on a gallop, and in a few minutes had the Reeves 
home sui'rounded. One of them, Presly, seeing the armed 
horsemen coming, sought safety in flight across the fields 
and through the "jimson," but he was soon headed off and 
captured. The entire family was notified they must leave 
the State this time, and not stand upon the order of their 
going, but go at once. Their team was soon hitched to 
the wagon, their household goods piled in the latter, and 
the line of march was soon taken towards the south. 
Tliere was no resistance save in talk on the part of the 
Reeves family, Colonel Baker's force, or the citizens gener- 


ally. The thus exiled family was escorted by some of the 
rangers many miles on the way to Missouri, and there left 
with orders to get within the boundaries of the State as 
soon as possible. These orders were obeyed, and Iowa lost 
and Missouri gained not a very desirable but numerous 

Cameron Eeeres, who shot Phipps, remained in jail at 
Oskaloosa for some time. Then Judge George G. Wright,, 
then of Keosauqua, but for many years a prominent resi- 
dent of Des Moines, was employed by Reeves to defend 
him from the charge made. P. M. Casadj' was the prose- 
cuting attorney, through whose cool judgment and prompt 
action Reeves had been saved from summary punishment 
in the court of judge lynch. Phipps having made an as- 
sault upon Reeves with a big stone prior to the shooting, it 
was more than probable the shooting could be justified un- 
der the plea of self-defence, and all the other members of 
the Reeves family having been banished, Mr. Casady under 
the circumstances wisely determined to make no resistance 
to the discharge under the writ of habeas corpus of Cam- 
eron Reeves, provided the latter would bind himself to 
never return to Polk County. The pledge was cheerfully 
given, and Reeves was released. These Reeves were de- 
scended from a noted Virginian family of that name. 
This brancli had run down, biit afterwards nuide advances 
in the right direction. They all had ability. The trouble 
was to give it the right direction. In later years this same 
Cameron Reeves became a prominent citizen of Omaha, 
and was slieriff of the county for several years. A. I). 
Jones, who laid out the original town of Fort Des Moines, 
married his sister. 


One of the earl}' murders occurring in the county hap- 


pened near the small village of Lafayette in May, 1852, and 
for a time caused much excitement among the early set- 
tlers. Two men living in that neighborhood, by the names 
of Collins and Atkins, excited by a too free indulgence in 
the whisky of that da.y, got into a fight. Collins threw 
Atkins to tlie ground and then beat him so severelj^ with 
his fists that he, Atkins, died in a few hours thereafter. 
Collins was aiTested for his criminal act, but in some way 
not explained managed to escape from custody and fled 
the country. What finally became of him is not known 
to the historian. . . 


The first murder in the countj', of which we have any 
judicial record, occurred in August, 1854, and that was 
the worst of all murders — that of a wife by her husband. 

Pleasant Fonts and his wife for some time previous had 
lived on a farm of their own in Jefferson township, in this 
county. They had a family of several children. There 
had been more or less trouble between the husband and 
wife, and finallj^ a separation was agreed upon — Fonts to 
go further west and there remain. He went according to 
the agreement, and remained away for some time, but be- 
coming dissatisfied returned to his former home and be- 
sought his wife to again live with him. To this she finally 
consented. Before going west the house had been rented, 
and Fonts could not again obtain possession imtil the ten- 
ant's term Avas out, and it would be some time before this 
would occur. In the meantime, he and his wife made their 
home in a tent a short distance from their house. From 
some cause their former troubles must have been renewed, 
for on the evening of August 9, 1851, Fonts returned shortly 
after dark to the tent where his wife was busily engaged 
in the ordinary household work, and rushing upon, seized 


and stabbed her with a knife. She screamed, and brealving 
awaj' from her murderous husband, sought safety and 
help from tlie house near by. She rushed against the door, 
bursting it open, and fell to the floor. Fouts soon aji- 
peared there, cdaiming he had been attracted by the cries 
of his wife, and tliat he had ruslied to her defense, and was 
admitted. He came in stained with her blood, and witli 
the knife in his hand. No sooner had he gained admission 
than he again attacked his Avouuded wife with bloody 
fieudishness, and before he could be prevented, finally cut 
her throat. The poor woman died in a short time in the 
care of the horror-stricken women of the house. 

After the completion of his horrible work, Fouts fled 
from the scene, in an effort to escape the consequences of 
his crime. But in a short time he was arrested, and in the 
custody of W. H. McHenry, subsequently district judge, 
and then sheriff of the county. He was taken to the log 
jail at Des Moines, and strongly guarded to prevent his es- 
cape and also to prevent the shocked and indignant people 
from taking the law into their own hands, and executing" 
swift judgment upon the guilty wretch. He employed 
three leaders of the bar in his defense. Attorneys Parish, 
Bates and Finch, and when arraigned for trial before Judge 
McFarland in October, 1854, entered a plea of not guilty. 
To save him from the death penalty his attorneys applied 
for and obtained a change of venue to Jasper County. 
When the cause was called there his attorneys, fearful of 
the judicial wrath of Judge McFarland, asked for another 
change of venue to Warren County, which was then in an- 
other judicial district, presided over by Judge Townsend. 
This change was granted. At the follo-nang term of court 
in Warren County, Fouts was placed on trial for his life. 
The prosecution was in the hands of Barlow Granger, Pros- 


ecuting Attorney of Polk County, and Lewis Todhuuter, 
of Warren. The attorneys for the defense, able and alert, 
tried everj^ resoiirce to save the life of their client, but 
after a lengthy and exciting trial, the jury returned a 
verdict of murder in the first degree. 

Judge Townsend j^romptly overruled a motion for a new 
trial, holding that the finding of the jury was full.y sus- 
tained by the facts proven, and dulj^ sentenced Fonts "to 
be hung hj the neck until he was dead, and that the exe- 
cution of the said defendant take place at some public and 
convenient place within one mile of the town of Indiauola, 
within the county of Warren, on the 15th day of De- 
cember, 1854, at 1 o'clock, p. m., of said day." 

The convicted murderer was remanded to the custody of 
Sheriff McHeniy, and his attorney appealed his cause to 
the Supreme Court, and this court finally decided that he 
could not be convicted of murder under the indictment. 
Several other errors were pointed out but at last by agree- 
ment, Fonts was convicted of miirder in the second de- 
gree, and sentenced to imprisonment for life. Sheriff Mc- 
Heurjr had charge of Fonts from the time of his arrest, 
and in illustration of the manner in which the death pen- 
alty and imprisonment for life are regarded by murderers, 
says that while in the coach on his way to Iowa City, then 
the capitol, during all the fun and jollity then so prevalent 
ill a coach load of passengers. Fonts never smiled or in any 
degree relaxed in his solemnity of face and manner. He 
then was under sentence of death. In the coach from Iowa 
City to Fort Madison, Fonts was apparently the jolliest 
and most happy man in the coach. Then the sentence of 
death had been commuted and he was on his way to the 
lienitentiary where he was to be imprisoned during the re- 
mainder of his life. 


The first convicted murderer of Polk County remained in 
tlie penitentiary until some time about the year 1877, when 
death released him from all earthly imprisonment, after 
J laving been in confinement for a long period of twenty- 
three years. After his death, his two daughters, who were 
then living in the vState of Kansas, applied for a settlement 
of his estate. During all this time it had been in the 
honest hands of William Ashworth, and this gentleman, 
under order of court, made a final settlement and remitte<l 
the proceeds to the daughters. 


In the summer of 1848 there was much excitement in the 
eastern portion of the county over the supposed murder of 
a man named Knisely, who had lived on Indian creek im- 
mediately east of the county line. Knisely was a Ger- 
man who did not mingle much with his neighbors. He 
suddenly disappeared about this time, and his whereabouts 
were unknown. Two brothers named Hamlin, whose rep- 
utations were not of the best, lived near Knisel3''s cabin, 
and being questioned as to Knisely's disappearance gave 
what were considered evasive answers. They were also 
insolent to questioners. The result Avas that soon every 
one in the neighborhood suspected the Hamlins had mur- 
dered and robbed the missing Knisely. The Skunk river 
was dragged and searched, but no body was found. Fin- 
ally a mob of settlers gathered and capturing the Hamlins, 
took them to the woods. There they were suspended by 
the thumbs and hanged by the neck, but no confession 
of guilt could be extorted from them. Finally, at the 
suggestion of the more law-abiding citizens present the 
Hamlins were turned over to the officers of the law and 
taken to the Oskaloosa jail for safe-keeping. 


The Hariilins employed as their attorney the noted 
Enoch W. Eastman, afterwards Lieutenant Governor. He 
at once set to work making an investigation, and the 
result was that during the progress of the trial a 
brother of the supposed murdered man, came from his 
home in Missouri to testify that his brother, the sup- 
posed victim, had gone to California, where he then was 
a very live man, so far as he knew. The Hamlins were 
discharged from custody, but for years afterwards many 
of those in that neighborhood firmly believed that 
Knisely had been murdered and the Hamlins were guilty 
of the crime. 


Among the noted of the first settlers was William H. 
Meacham, who for some years was prominent in the his- 
tory of the town and county. He was justice of the peace 
and for several years a county commissioner, and also 
became noted for his energj^, untiring zeal and undoubted 
courage in running down and capturing or driving out 
of the county horse and other thieves, who generally in- 
fest all newlj^ settled communities and countries. But 
sickness and other causes had their effect upon him, and 
in bis later years he became almost a monomaniac in his 
pursuit of those whom, in his mind, he regarded as guilty 
of crime. An instance may be given. In the winter of 
18.5G-57 a horrible murder had been committed on or near 
a public road in Poweshiek County, and some j)arties then 
residing in Camp Township in this county were suspected 
of being connected with this crime. The excitement was 
naturally great and liberal rewards were offered by the 
State and county for the arrest of the pei*petrators of 
the horrid crime. Every suspected person was closely 


These facts stin'ed up the fitful energies of "Squire 
Meacham," and after a time his suspicions rested upou 
one Van Shoich, who was a son-in-law in the then noto- 
rious Kidgway family, living in Camp Township. Meach- 
am, with an armed party, made a sudden descent ujDon 
the supposed guilty parties. Van Shoich was seized, 
chained, and by Meacham and his assitants taken to 
Poweshiek County, and delivered over to the legal au- 
thorities. After an investigation it was decided that Van 
Shoich was not the man wanted and he was discharged 
from custody. 

A short time after this Meacham claimed to have re- 
ceived further evidence of their guilt, and with a few 
others went to their home and again arrested Van 
Shoich and also his father-in-law, Ridgway. They were 
hurried into a sleigh, being threatened with sudden death 
if they resisted, and again started on their way to Powe- 
shiek County. The weather was intensely cold, the roads 
much blocked, and it was finally determined to bring the 
men to Des Moines, and here they were brought by 
Meacham and surrendered to the sheriff. He really had 
no testimony against them, and they were again dis- 
charged by the magistrate. They commenced an action 
against Meacham for kidnapping, but the condition of his 
mind was known to the court, and he was acquitted of 
the charge. And yet Squire Meacham was getting close 
to the truth. Another son-in-law of Ridgway, one 
Thomas, or "Come-Quick," as he was called, was after- 
wards arrested, charged with this murder and hanged by 
a Poweshiek County mob. Of this more is given in an- 
other place. 


This brings to memory another matter in which this 


same Eidgway was prominently concerned. In the 
spring of 1857 this Isaac Eidgway came to Des Moines, 
and going before the late Judge W. H. McHenry, then 
mayor, told a stoiy of how a large number of men on 
horseback had come to his home in Camp Township and 
in decided language ordered him to pack up his mov- 
ables inside of five or ten days and leave the country. 
They informed him that they were very tired ha-sdng him 
and his gang around, and they must go. Eidgway swore 
he Avas afraid of being killed by them and demanded war- 
rants for tlieir arrest. The warrants were issued and 
some eight or ten of the best citizens of Camp Township 
were brought to Des Monies. After a hearing before the 
mayor, held in the old court house, and it was shown they 
had given Eidgway the pressing invitation to leave the 
country, the mayor decided that under the circumstances, 
he would not hold them to the District Court, and they 
were discharged. 

Then they turned the tables on EidgTvay, and had him 
arrested and charged with committing perjury in their 
trial. The writer was then a justice of the peace, and he 
was called upon to examine, as magistrate, the charge 
against Eidgway. There was some strong swearing all 
around during this examination. The justice finally de- 
cided that there was probable cause enough to hold Eidg- 
way for perjury to the District Court. The Camp Town- 
ship men were jubilant over this finding. But when the 
justice turned to them and administered a severe lecture 
for their unlawful conduct in acting under mob law when 
they ordered Eidgway out of the countrj^, they were mad 
and the high popularity of that justice immediately sank 
many degrees below zero. The trial closed late in the 
evening, and Eidgway begged not to be sent to jail, and 


stated that if the constable would go with him on the 
next day to his home, he would there furnish good se- 
curity for his appearance at court. This was agreed to 
and Ridgway and the constable passed the night at the 
leading hotel. In the morning the justice privately in- 
structed the constable not to let any good man sign 
the bond through sympathj^, but to get as many as pos- 
sible of the Ridgways and their connections to sign it, and 
then turn the prisoner loose. This was done, and the 
bond was api^roved and sent to the District Court. The 
result was as anticipated. Before the cause was again 
called in court, Ridgway, his family and most of his con- 
nections, had departed from Polk County, and were then 
blessing Missouri and Kansas. Thus was Ridgway ban- 
ished from Polk County, in due accordance with law, and 
that justice's popularity arose several degrees in the es- 
timation of the good people of Camp Townshij). 


In the spring of 1858 a murder was committed within 
the corporate limits of Des Moines, and immediately fol- 
lowed by the suicide of the murderer. All the persons 
directly concerned in the tragedy were of English birth 
and parentage. A young Englishman by the name of 
Charles Rosseter had been for some time paying atten- 
tion to Miss King, a young lady of English birth, whose 
parents then resided on the Peet property, then well 
out towards the northern limits of the city. Rosseter 
had become dissipated and reckless, and if there had 
ever been any engagement between Miss King and him 
it had been annulled by his own misconduct. At the 
same time there resided in Des Moines another young 
Englishman, named James Chandler. He was one of the 


best of men, honest, cheerful and industrious, a steady 
worlier, and at the same time fond of hunting and other 
sports, and popular with all men vv^ho knew him. 

James Chandler was intimate with the King family, 
and on a pleasant Sunday evening accompanied Miss 
King to church services. While upon their return and 
when thej'' were walking along the road on the hill near 
where Eutherford Chapel then stood, suddenly and stealth- 
ily behind them came Charles Kosseter. He was crazed 
with drink and jealousy, and armed with a shotgun. 
Without any warning he raised his gun and fired a charge 
of large shot into the back of Chandler. Miss King, 
frightened into wild terror, ran rapidly up the road when 
he fired another shot at her and she fell in the road, but 
foi'tunately not seriouslj' injured by the shot. Chandler 
was killed instantly, shot through the heart, he proba- 
bly never realizing what the trouble was. Then Ros- 
seter, after gazing upon the tragic scene before him, and 
supposing that Miss King was also his victim, reloaded 
his gun and with desperate suicidal intent fired a heavy 
charge into his own body. His aim was not as true as 
when directed towards Chandler, and his Avouuds, though 
terrible, were not immediately fatal. 

The shots and the cries soon broiight help, and notice 
was at once sent to the writer, who with others, hastened 
to the scene. Miss King had been removed to her home, 
and it was soon learned that her injuries were not fatal. 
Chandler lay as he had been shot, a pleasant smile play- 
ing, as it were, over his features. His happy look in life 
had become fixed in death. The murderer had been re- 
moved to a rough cabin near by, where he lay moaning 
while the doctors examined his wounds and pronounced 
them mortal. Then the dying man, in piteous tones, ap- 


pealed to Rev. Dr. Peet, who was intimately acquainted 
with all the parties, to know if there was any hope for 
him in the great hereafter. The good doctor, wrought 
up as he was by the death of one friend and the at- 
tempted murder of another, could not give the dying 
man those assurances he now so much desired. The 
murderer and suicide lingered and suffered terribly in 
mind and body for some hours, when death came to his 
relief, and he followed his victim before the bar of God, 
there, and not before the courts of the earth, to answer 
for his crime. His dead body was laid in the ground 
followed by much more anger than sorrow. Many sor- 
rowing friends surrounded the burial place of genial 
"Jimmy" Chandler and deeply mourned his untimely and 
cruel end. Miss King in time fully recovered and sub- 
sequently became the wife of one of the prominent citi- 
zens of Des Moines. 


And this murder of Chandler calls up the somewhat 
sad histoiy of five young Englishmen, who in the latter 
part of the fifties resided in Des Moines, and were much 
thrown together, and often hunted and fished with each 
other. Of the deaths of Chandler and Rosseter an ac- 
count has been given. Another one of the five, W. J. 
Payne, on the Fourth of July, was handling his gun, when 
it in some manner was discharged, the shot entering his 
head and causing instant death. James Gaut was an- 
other of the five. He was also an indefatigable hunter, 
and one day while hunting on the ice was killed by the 
accidental discharge of his gun. John H. Watson was 
another, who enlisted in the Second Iowa Infantry', was 
Gen. Crocker's orderly and went with him to the Thir- 
teenth Iowa Infantry. He was afterwards commissioned 


a second lieutenant, was wounded at the battie of Sliiloh 
and died three days afterwards. All five of these young 
Englishmen died in the space of less than five years from 
guushot wounds. 


Aaron Smith, one of the early settlers of Polk County, 
in the spring of ISGi, was shot while driving along a road 
leading from Saylorville to Polk City, near the township 
line between Saylor and Crocker Townships. The ball, 
which was evidently fired from a rifle, entered Smith's 
back, making a fatal wound. Smith lived but a short 
time, but before he died stated the fatal shot had been 
fired by his nephew, C. C. Howard, and that he had fired 
at him from the brush by the side of the road, and that 
he had seen the accused, Howard, trying to make his 
escape immediately after the shot was fired. The neigh- 
bors made a search for young Howard, and he was found 
at a house some four miles distant from where the shot 
was fired. At a preliminary examination young Hoav- 
ard was bound over for trial in the District Court. 

As the Howard family was among the first settlers and 
well known in the county, and the Smiths also not un- 
known, the trial in court was watched with much inter- 
est, and was earnestly fought. Attorneys Polk, Dorr and 
Bartle appeared for the prosecution, and Dan O. Finch 
and Stephen Sibley for the defense. There was no pos- 
itive proof against Howard, except the dying statement 
of Smith, and this was much weakened by occurrences 
prior to the shooting. Young Howard, the defendant, 
was a son of Robert Howard, who was a brother-in-law 
to Aaron Smith. The i^revious year Smith's unmarried 
daughter gave birth to a child which she alleged was 


the child of her own father, and Smith was arrested upon 
the charge of incest. Smith was arraigned in March, 
1874, npon this charge, but his daughter then refusing 
to testify he was acquitted of the charge. He blamed 
the Howards for urging on this prosecution, and there 
was bad blood between the parties. Shortly after Smith 
was acquitted he and the elder Howard had a dispute 
about some cattle, and as Smith was about to strike his 
father young Howard rushed to his rescue. Whereupon 
Smith stabbed young Howard in the abdomen with a 
knife. The wound was a serious one, but not fatal, and 
not long after this Smith was shot and died, as previously 

The trial of young Howard for the murder of Smith 
occupied the attention of the court for a number of days, 
and attracted much attention and interest. The jury finally 
returned a verdict of not guilty, and Howard was at once 
discharged from custody. He afterwards removed to Des 
Moines, where he lived many years, sustaining an excel- 
lent reputation. 


An incident happening in the latter part of the fifties, 
though not especially pertaining to Polk County, may 
be worth noting. The man had been convicted in Davis 
County of murdering his wife by poison and sentenced 
to suffer death by hanging. His attorneys appealed to 
the Supreme Court, and Sheriff Spaulding, of Polk County, 
was sent after the prisoner and brought him tO' Des Moines 
to appear before the court. This court finally affirmed 
the proceedings of the lower court, and the sheriff was 
ordered to return the prisoner tO' Davis County, to there 
be executed according to law. Judge Trimble, the well 


known jurist, had told the sheriff he could trust the pris- 
oner, that he would not attempt to escape; and he was 
right. When the sheriff was starting back with his pris- 
oner in a buggy, sudden business required he should re- 
main in town an hour or more longer, and in the mean- 
time he left the prisoner in the Journal newspaper office 
in charge of the writer. The prisoner was invited to take 
a chair and look over the newspapers. He sat quietly 
reading, when the writer was also suddenly called down 
town on business. He went, and forgot all about the 
prisoner for a half hour or more, when he remembered 
his charge and hastened back to see what had become of 
him. He found him there all right and felt relieved, but 
learned afterwards he made some inquiries of the print- 
ers, who supposed he was a personal friend of the sheriff 
and the editor, and the prisoner had then walked quietly 
down the stairs and oiit on the street. After an absence 
of some time he returned and took a seat. The printers 
were much astonished when told this quiet man was a 
convicted murderer, whom the sheriff was taking on his 
way to the gallows. He went peaceably with the sheriff 
to Davis County, Avhere he was afterwards hanged, in 
accordance with the sentence of the courts. 

SQUIRE MORRIS' STORY- -^-^ '-■■'-' -^j 

Squire Absolam Morris, so well known in Des Moines 
in years past, delighted to tell a story on Stephen V. 
White, then a lawyer of Des Moines, and a later prom- 
inent broker and financier in New York City. Sheriff 
Spaulding was taking a prisoner to the Fort Madison 
penitentiary who had been convicted in the State courts 
of counterfeiting or passing base coin. White was going 
east, and to save expenses was appointed a guard by the 
sheriff. Upon arriving at Pella, and while dinner was 


being prepared, the sheriff went out in town, leaving the 
prisoner in charge of Wliite. The prisoner, wlio was a 
bright, tallcative man, immediately commenced an argu- 
ment, raising the legal point that the State courts had 
no jurisdiction in his case, and he should hare been 
placed on trial in the United States Court. The rascal 
made a plausible argument and soon had White deeply 
absorbed in considering the legal points involved. Finally, 
stepping to the door, the prisoner politely said, "Mr. 
White, I know you are a lawyer, and a good one, and that 
you are impressed with the legal points I have raised. 
Think them over and hereafter we will discuss them. 
Good day." And out the prisoner walked, and was soon 
making trades through an extensive cornfield near by. 
White continued in deep meditation, until the arrival of 
the sheriff and the hasty query-: "Where is the prisoner?" 
made him instantly see the point the prisoner was aim- 
ing at. The sheriff and White, after a hard afternoon's 
Avork, and with the assistance of many citizens and 
farmers, late in the evening captured the argumentative 
rascal some five or six miles from Pella. White became 
absorbed in no more legal arguments until after the pris- 
oner was safely inside the walls of the penitentiary. 


Among the exciting crimes in the early history of Des 
Moines was the killing of King by A. N. Marsh, then 
marshal of the young city. This occurred in 1862. Marsh 
had been a resident of the town for a number of years, 
was a native of Kentucky and had served in the cavalry 
battalion from that State in the Mexican war. He was 
an enterprising, trading man, and had accumulated some 
wealth in real estate, and owned the lots upon which 
Central Presbyterian Church now stands. He had a fair 


reputation, but was known to be a man of strong pas- 
sions and fearless nature. Even liis friends feared his 
hasty temper might get him into trouble while city mar- 
shal. King was an Irishman, of splendid physique, and 
while a little prone to be quarrelsome at times, had many 
friends. He and Marsh had gotten into a difflcultj^ over 
the impounding of some pigs belonging to King, and 
met at the Sherman building. Marsh had arrested King,, 
or at least was going with him to the office of Mayor 
Thomas Cavanaiigh, on the third floor of the building. 
On the second flight of stairs King struck at Marsh, or in 
some manner resisted him, and after a short scuffle. Mar- 
shal Marsh drew a knife and gave King a fatal stab.. 
The dying man staggered up the stairs and entering the- 
office of the mayor fell to the floor and died in a short 
time. Marsh, seeing his victim was a dying man, de- 
scended to the street at once, walked rapidly towards 
his home, some eight or ten squares distant, and soon 
from there took his flight to parts unknown. 

All this had happened so quickly that before the facts 
of the tragedy were known to the citizens generally Marsh, 
had disappeared. The people were much aroused, and 
especially the hot-blooded and warm-hearted Irish friends, 
of the murdered man. Threats were made of summary 
vengeance to be wrought upon the murderer, and parties^ 
were soon in eager pursuit of him. At the same time his 
pursuers knowing how desperate Marsh might be under 
the circumstances, acted with more or less prudence in 
their hunt. He was not found or captured, though for 
several days reports were circulated he had been seen 
in or near the town. King's body was duly buried, and 
it was soon known Marsh had left the county and State, 
but where he had gone remained generally unknoAvn. 


The remembrance of this murder was j)assiug away, 
as the years went by, when the people were again ex- 
cited by the news that Marsh liad been located. Tall- 
madge E. Brown, a noted lawyer and capitalist of Des 
Moines, had visited Texas on a speculative mission and 
had there encountered the missing Marsh. It was stated 
the latter had laid plans with associates to rob if not 
murder Brown, who carried with him a large amount of 
mone3^ In this he aroused the wrong man. Brown was 
a resolute man of abundant nerve, and he determined 
to hunt the hunter. This he did so effectually that Marsh 
was captured and turned over to the Texas authorities 
until the arrival of the Iowa authorities to bring him 
back here to answer for the killing of King. In due time 
Sheriif McCalla, of this countj^, was sent to Texas for 
the prisoner, and took with him Jonathan Stutsman as 
an assistant. They proceeded to Texas, secured Marsli, 
and started by a gulf steamer to New Orleans. When 
the steamer arrived at the latter j^ort Marsh was not witli 
them. In explanation they stated that while coming from 
the mouth of the Mississippi, Marsh, who had repeatedly 
said he would never return alive to Des Moines, had 
suddenly sprung from the deck of the steamer into the 
turbid waters of the broad and swiftly flowing river. 
The,y said that he was heavily ironed at the time, and 
must have gone down to a speedy deatli. They brought 
with them some of his possessions, etc., and, though a 
few doubted, it was generally believed this was the earthly 
end of Marsh, murderer and suicide. 

Before many months, however, it was known that if 
Marsh had thrown himself heavily ironed into the Mis- 
sissippi River, his life through some miraculous means 
had been saved. He was certainly very much alive and 


free. James F. Kemp, a well kuown citizen of Des Moiiies, 
while temporarily stopping in NeAV Orleans, on his way 
to Texas, there met and talked with Marsh, whom he had 
known in Des Moines. Marsh told him he had been or 
was then chiefly engaged in dealing in Texas cattle. Other 
Des Moines men at other times had seen or heard of 
Marsh, but no steps were again taken to bring him to 
justice for his crime committed in this citj. No one here 
now knows where he is or whether living or dead. 


An unprovoked murder Avas committed in 1864, on 
Walnut street, between Second and Third, in front of 
Ensign's livery stable. The site of this is now occupied 
by a brick building recently erected by Dr. W. H. Dick- 
inson. At that time a number of the soldiers of the 
Tenth Iowa Infantry were at home on veteran furlough. 
One of these soldiers, named McRoberts, became drunk, 
and after threatening to shoot S. A. Robertson, who for- 
tunately escaped his crazy wrath, hailed a quiet, peace- 
able colored man, named Brown, who happened to be 
passing along the sidewalk. The negTO halted, when the 
soldier fired a pistol and his victim fell, dying almost 
instantly. The murderer was afterwards arrested and 
]»laced in jail. But he was never placed on trial, found 
guilty and hung, as he should have been. He escaped 
or was quietly released and hurried off to the army, then 
in the field. After the close of the Avar and his discharge 
from the army, it is said, the reckless murderer A'isited 
Des Moines, and no effort Avas made to apprehend him. 
Tlie man he wantonly murdered had been long buried 
and forgotten. 


In 1875, a young Irishman named McNerney was a 


menaber of the city i)olice. He was a prompt and efii- 
cient officer, quiet and gentlemanly in his conduct. One 
night there was a disturbance on Third street, near Wal- 
nut, and Officer McNernej endeavored to quiet the sam<^ 
One of the worst men in the row was a negro, whom the 
officer attempted to arrest. The negro resisted and as- 
saiilted the officer. To save himself the latter drew a 
pistol and fired at the negro. The wound proved fatal. 
Officer McXerney promj^tly surrendered himself to the 
law, and some time after, by a close vote, was indicted 
by the grand jury. His trial took place in the District 
Court before Judge Leonard. In defense it was plead 
that under the circumstances he did right in shooting 
and that the killing of the negro was justifiable homi- 
cide. The court and jury took this view of it, and the 
defendant was promptly acquitted. McNerney remained 
some time on the police force, but took a great distaste 
to it and finally engaged in other pursuits. He contin- 
ued brooding over the unfortunate killing of the negro 
until his mind became so affected he was pronounced in- 
sane and sent to one of the State hosi^itals. He could 
not be cured, and pined away and died. 


A simple story of Polk County, and yet ending in a 
tragedy. The disappearance from this earth of one man 
in the very prime of vigorous life, causing gTief to a few, 
and no doubt a lifelong regret to others who, outside of 
and in direct violation of the law, human and divine, 
took upon themselves voluntarily the heavy responsibil- 
ity of taking the life of their fellow man. The victim 
has been dead for many years, his grave has remained 
unknown to all save the comparatively few who know 
whether or not his body ever had burial, and a majority 


of these have since died natural deaths, had proper graves 
made for their bodies, were buried and wept and mourned 
over by relatives and friends, and, if we are to believe 
in divine revelation, have been or will be called upon to 
answer for the deed performed upon that dark night of 
years ago. It is not for us to say or even surmise as to 
the judgment of the Great Jehovah in this matter. 

Among the early settlers of this section was one Jack 
Hiner, who became well known to a large majority of the 
limited number of citizens then dwelling in the neighbor- 
hood of the Raccoon fork of the Des Moines Eiver. He 
was a splendid specimen of physical manhood and espe- 
cially in his youth would have been called handsome. His 
•education was limited and his morals it must be admitted 
were not of the best. He drauk, perhaps gambled to some 
extent, and yet he was even tempered and never regarded 
as a naturally vicious man. He, however, was not a hypo- 
crite. He made no special pretensions to goodness. He 
was something of that class of men called "never-do- 
wells." He was not regarded as particularly lazy, for at 
times he would work, and work hard and diligently. 
There were stories about at times of his having some 
connection with horse and other thieves, who were then 
hunted down without much mercy by angry honest set- 
tlers, but it does not appear that it was clearly proven 
that Jack Hiner ever stole a horse or any other plunder, 
or aided others in doing this. Eumor and report may 
have said he was guilty. That he had perhaps done that 
which is now called "boot-legging" may be time. He may 
have also had with him in his travels through the coun- 
try and to neighboring towns, some women who were 
not exactly like Caesar wished his wife to be, above sus- 
picion. This all was bad enough, but Jack Hiner only 


a short time before his disappearance when cautioned 
by tlie writer as to what might and did happen, solemnly 
asserted that, bad in some respects as he may have been, 
he had never stolen a horse or any other thing or aided 
others in perpetrating or hiding thefts, and the writer 
believed and advised him accordingly. Jack said then 
he did not believe those who knew him would ever do 
liim grievous harm. He seemed perfectly confident of 

A short time after this Jack Hiner was arrested, 
charged at the time with stealing some harness and other 
property. The vigilance clubs or associations of Allen 
Township and of Four Mile and adjoining neighborhoods 
were somewhat excited at the time. There had been a 
number of petty depredations of late, and the conclusion 
became fixed in the minds of many that a summary stop 
must be put to it. Hiner, when arrested, was taken be- 
fore F. R. Prentice, a highly esteemed old settler who 
then resided a few miles east of the Capitol and was a 
justice of the peace. The late Hiram Y. Smith, who had 
then just commenced 'the practice of law, appeared as 
attorney for the defense of Hiner. Witnesses were ex- 
amined as the trial proceeded, but no legal proof of the 
defendant's guilt was forthcoming, and as night came 
on the justice was forced to discharge Hiner from cus- 

At the trial a number of neighboring farmers and others 
from a distance had gathered together, and much more 
than the usual whisperings and private consultations had 
been going on during the trial. The result of this was 
immediately seen when the justice discharged Hiner from 
legal arrest. He was at once taken in charge by a num- 
ber of resolute men. Young Attorney Smith's horse was 


ordered out and he was quietly but firmly told to mouut 
and make his way to his home in Des Moines as speedily 
as possible. Neither his legal sendees nor his presence 
were any longer desired at that time in that neighbor- 
hood. It was useless for him to resist. He could not 
save his client. These men had the power and the will 
to exercise it. 

What followed has never been clearly told, at least 
publicly. Hiner was taken to the Four Mile timber. He 
began to realize his danger, and yet it is said he faced 
it manfully. He protested his innocence to the last, made 
no threats, and as was but natural plead for his life, even 
if this entailed banishment from home and country. A 
well known citizen then, and now living on the south side 
of the river is said to have made the greatest speech of 
his life on this occasion. He has made not a few polit- 
ical speeches and has been a candidate for high office, • 
but no speech like this. He plead out of the generosity 
of his heart for mercy to be shown to the victim then 
within the dread shadow of death. As he so plead the 
eyes of poor Jack Hiner were fixed upon him at times 
with the wild glitter of hope and again with the blank- 
ness of despair. He was pleading for a life. And years 
afterwards those eyes would ever and anon haunt his 
memory day and night His pleading was unavailing. 
He withdrew from all further connection with the swift 
coming tragedy, and Hiner saw with sinking heart his 
last hope for mercy depart. Another prominent citizen, 
recently deceased, in a few emphatic words, denounced 
the whole affair and departed, as did several others from 
the scene. 

What followed has never been told, save perhaps when 
the actors in this tragic scene in days and nights there- 


after whispered of it to each other. That Hiner died that 
dark night there is no doubt. A rope was taken from 
the well on the farm of N. J. Miller, now superintendent 
of mails in the Des Moines postoffice, and it was gener- 
ally supposed it was utilized for the purpose of choking 
the life out of poor Jack Hiner. On that dark night that 
dark deed was committed within a few miles and now 
within sight of the gold-gilded dome of the Capitol of 
the State, where laws for the government and protection 
of all citizens of the State are made and where sit the 
Supreme Judges of the law. There was Jack Hiner 
"lynched," or murdered, as each may see fit to call it. 
His widow sought in vain for knowledge of his burial 
place. Reports were started that he had suddenly left 
the country, and again that his dead body had been found, 
and later that human bones, supposed to be his remains, 
had been seen in a hollow log where he was known to 
have been taken when alive, or that his bones had at 
last been found partly covered with sand and gravel in 
the river bed some distance below the mouth of Four 
Mile Creek. But none of these stories were ever verified; 
Jack Hiner's grave remains unknown. Many of those 
supposed to have been present when the tragedy was en- 
acted are now dead, gone to be judged at a higher court; 
several removed to other sections of the country, and a 
few yet live in this county. Of one of the supposed prin- 
cipals in this midnight deed it is told that from that time 
he was apparently pursued by ill fortune. A wealthy 
farmer he became poor. He tried different countries, but 
everywhere financial and other misfortunes overtook him ; 
and now he is an aged and broken down man, utterly 
disappointed and without hope. And yet some of the 
early settlers and their families to this day at times pro- 
pound the now old query, "What became of Jack Hiner?" 



THERE were never any railroad train robberies in 
or near Des Moines save the many large and small 
burglaries and thefts so often made from the cars 
standing in the yards of the various railroads centering 
in Des Moines. But at the time when the James and 
Younger Brothers were engaged in their notorious hold- 
ing up and robbery of trains, on the night of July 21, 
1873, the east bound train on the Rock Island, due at 
10:30, failed to arrive on time, and soon after it was re- 
ported the train had been ditched and robbed by a gang 
of masked robbers between Anita and Adair, some sixty 
miles west of Des Moines. This report caused the great- 
est excitement in Des Moines and throughout the coun- 
try. The report was soon found to be true. The spot se- 
lected for the crime was then a sparsely settled stretch 
of countiy. The first report was that Engineer Rafferty, 
of the train, had been shot to death by the robbers, but 
further investigation showed he had been killed by the 
falling engine when it was ditched. There were at least 
seven of the robbers and perhaps more. They held pos- 
session of the train for some twenty minutes or more, 
and the trainmen and others present were compelled at 
the muzzles of pistols to obey the orders of the robbers, 
who also compelled the passengers to remain closely in 
the coaches. 

The object of the attack was doubtless to capture a 
large amount of money which it was supposed would be 
in charge of the express messenger on that trip, but this 


large sum was not there. The robbers secured by their 
raid some two thousand dollars. After fully satisfying 
themselves they had air the money in the express car, the 
robbers mounted their horses and started rapidly to- 
wards the south. All the people in the surrounding coun- 
try were soon aroused, and many at once started in eager 
pursuit of the robbers, but the latter, without much diffi- 
culty, made a safe escape to their haunts in the State of 


Prior to his death in 1874, there lived in Des Moines 
for a number of years John Johnson, an Irishman by 
birth and a tailor by trade. He was a quiet, peaceable 
man, and had many friends among the citizens of the 
city and county. One Sunday morning, June 14, 1874, 
his dead body was found on Second street, near Walnut, 
and from the nature of the wounds and other circum- 
stances, it was at once known that Johnson had been 
foully murdered. This caused naturally a large amount 
of excitement. 

Near where the body of Johnson was found and on the 
opposite side of the street was a notorious house of ill- 
fame kept by a woman named Annie Groves. She is said 
to have once been a school teacher and belonged to a 
respectable family residing in Greene County. She was 
not regarded as a cruel or vicious woman, though lack- 
ing in chastity, but it was known some vicious charac- 
ters frequented her house. The presumption was strong, 
and it was generally believed that Johnson had been mur- 
dered in her house and that Annie Groves knew much 
about the murder. Notwithstanding this no arrests were 
made, and in fact no special investigation had at the time 
beyond a brief and unsatisfactory coroner's inquest, which 


developed little beyond the fact that Johnson had un- 
doubtedly been murdered, but by whom was left an open 
question. The body of Johnson was duly buried. The 
murder was much discussed for a time, large rewards 
were offered for the arrest and conviction of the person 
or persons guilty of the crime, and then in a short time 
this tragedy appeared to be on the way to the forgotten 

The suspicions of the officers and others had, however, 
became fixed uf)on certain parties, and especially upon 
Annie Groves and certain inmates and frequenters of 
her house, aud active steps Avere being taken to find evi- 
dence which would connect them with the crime. For 
more than two months this waiting policj' was carried 
on. Finally, on August 28, the citizens were startled by 
the arrest of Annie Groves and Charles Howard, charged 
with the murder of Johnson, or complicity therein. 

This Charles Howard had been a resident of Des Moines 
for some time. He was a young man of rather x)repos- 
sessing appearance, generally well dressed and quiet in 
his manners and address. He had been employed in 
hotels, and at the time of the murder was barkeeper in 
a saloon on Third street. It had been ascertuined that 
he was a frequenter of Annie Groves' house, and some- 
tliing of a favorite with the mistress. To the surprise of 
all who knew the parties it had recently been announced 
that Howard had been married to Annie Groves. As he 
was much younger than she was and of a more well bred 
appearance, and the character of Annie being so gener- 
ally known, this sudden marriage naturally caused much 
comment. To those on the hunt of the murderer it fur- 
nished what they desired, a sure clue. They reasoned 
that Howard would never have made this marriage but 


fov the fact that Annie had some peculiar hold upon him. 
What was the hold? Naturally, as Johnson it was almost 
certain had been killed in Annie Groves' house, it was sus- 
pected that Howard had something to do with the mur- 
der, and Annie herself was an eye witness or knew of his 
guilt. She held this knowledge over Howard, and by it 
compelled him to marry her. She wished to return to 
her people in Carroll County as a married woman, and 
here was her opportunity. Be the reasons therefor what 
they may, they were legally married and in a short time 
thereafter left Des Moines, openly and in the day time, 
and went to Carroll County, at or near the place where 
Annie's relatives resided. 

Not long after this the officers discovered, through the 
talk of some of the parties who had been inmates or fre- 
quenters of the Groves house and otherwise, sufficient 
testimony upon which to base the arrest and trial of How- 
ard and his wife for the murder of Johnson. Hugh Bren- 
nan, then a police officer and subsequently city solicitor, 
armed with a warrant started in pursuit of the suspected 
persons. Without much difficulty they were both found 
in Greene County, arrested and brought back to Des 
Moines. Here they were both held for trial in the Dis- 
trict Court. 

Other arrests were made and much excitement was 
again aroused among the citizens, and even then there 
was some talk of summai-y punishment being meted out 
to the guilty ones at the hands of an enraged people. 
Among the other parties arrested for complicity in the 
murder of Johnson was Charles Eicord. He was a young- 
man of good familjr, being the son of the then mayor of 
Iowa City. He had, however, become somewhat reckless 
and dissipated, and while in Des Moines was a frequenter 


of Annie Groves' house, and an associate of a number of 
fast young men. Two young women, Vina Wear and 
Belle Barton, who had been reared in Des Moines, and 
had "gone to the bad," were also placed under police 
surveillance. They had been frequenters or inmates also 
of Annie's house, and it was believed knew much about 
the murder, having been in the house on that fatal night 
in July. 

Howard and his wife remained in the county jail for 
some time awaiting trial, as at that time this judicial 
district embraced several counties, and courts were held 
here only at stated terms. After a delay of some length 
Howard was placed on trial in the District Court, Hon. 
Hugh W. Maxwell presiding as judge. Several attorneys 
appeared in Howard's defence, but there is no doubt that 
public feeling was much aroused against him, and this 
probably was not without its effect upon the court and 
jury. After a lengthy and at times exciting trial the jury 
returned a verdict of guilty, which was evidently satis- 
factory to the hundreds present and to the people gen- 
erally. But they were dissatisfied in that the jury had 
not fixed the penalty at death. 

On Monday afternoon, December 14, 1874, Howard was 
brought before Judge Maxwell for sentence. This was 
one of the last judicial acts of Judge Maxwell, who was 
then retiring from the bench. The court room was 
crowded with people, anxious to hear and see the closing 
words and scenes of this exciting drama. Few supposed 
that it would soon be followed by a tragedy. The con- 
victed murderer, Howard, had shown much nerve and, 
coolness during the entire trial, and he lost none of this 
during the closing scene in court. In answer to the usual 
inquiry of the judge, he said he was innocent of the crime 


for which he had been convicted, that he had not had a 
fair and impartial trial, and that at some future day his 
innocence would be proven. In pronouncing sentence 
upon him, Judge Maxwell was very severe in his words 
— much more than many thought he was justified in. 
During the course of his remarks he intimated very 
plainly that in his judgment the penalty of death would 
have been the proper one, and concluded by pronounc- 
ing upon Howard the sentence of imprisonment in the 
penitentiary during the term of his natural life. How- 
ard never flinched during this fearful ordeal, and quietly 
passed with his wife, who had faithfully stood by him 
during the entire trial, to the prison cells below. The 
large crowd quietly separated, and though they may have 
lingered in groups talking of the trial and its incidents, 
nothing was visible that apparently portended the wild 
vengeance of a mob which was in so few hours to follow. 

Dan M. Bringolf was then and had been for some time 
the sheriff of the county. Not long after Howard's ar- 
rest there had been not a little talk of mob violence and 
something like an attempt at it had been made. In con- 
sideration of these reports and actions Sheriff Bringolf 
had very wisely increased the guard at the jail, which 
was in the basement of the Court House. Other prepar- 
ations were made for the protection of the prisoner, and 
a careful watch was kept over any movements of the peo- 
ple in the city and county which might portend to mis- 
chief. It was naturally supposed that now, when How- 
ard had been tried, convicted and sentenced, and on the 
next morning would be on his way to the penitentiary 
for life, that all danger of mob law would be at an end; 
that the people would now be content to allow the law to 
take its course. The guards, however, were retained at 


the Court House and jail, and Howard was placed with 
his wife in a large cell, which was closely guarded, and 
where it was supposed they would be allowed to pass 
their last night together in such peace as they could ex- 
tract from their dark surroundings. 

That evening the members of the Bar gave Judge Max- 
well a farewell supper at the Savery, now Kirkwood, 
House, and heartily enjoyed themselves with the pleas- 
ures of the table, toasts and speeches. Their festivities 
continued up to about midnight when they adjourned. 
About this hour a rumor was started that an attempt at 
illegal vengeance upon Howard might be made, and to 
the credit of the Bar be it said they almost to a man 
cheerfully volunteered to arm and defend the supremacj^ 
of the law. The sheriff and others immediately started 
out and search as they did could nfid no real basis for the 
rumor, and it was finally set down as one of the idle tales 
which had previously been placed in circulation, and all 
went to their homes. Sheriff Bringolf, on leaving the 
Court House, about 1 a. m. directed the deputy sheriff, 
jailor and guards not to allow any person or persons to 
enter the jail upon any pretext whatever and not to de- 
liver the keys to anyone. He then left the officers to 
discharge their duties, not one of them suspecting the 
tragedy which was soon to follow. 

Suddenly between 2 and 3 o'clock in the morning of 
December 15, 1874, a mob of men, most of them with 
blackened faces, estimated as numbering one hundred to 
two hundred, ciuietly surrounded and entered the Court 
House and jail, and in a few minutes had overj)owered 
the guard and officers, and were in full possesion. They 
were determined men and their manner of procedure was 
thus told by B. Wise, the jailer, in his sworn testimony: 


"I was awakened about half past two 'oclock by a knock 
at the door of my bedroom in the basement of the jail; 
supposed it was a policeman with a prisoner; opened the 
door and a man drew a hatchet on me; I caiight him by 
the throat; a second man drew a revolver on me; three 
others clinched and threw me down and tied me; one 
then put his knee on my breast and pointed a second re- 
volver at my head; the hall Avas full of men; I was thrown 
down and tied in my own room. The men demanded my 
keys or my life; then bound my hands and took the keys 
from my pocket. The first time they did not get all of 
them and came back to get the others; did not threaten 
to hurt me then; all seemed to be large men and handled 
me lively. They did not speak much; the man who talked 
to me did so in a very coarse voice. All of them that I 
saw had blackened faces. They seemed to be stern and 
were very cool and sober. Did not see Howard as they 
passed out Avith him; saw his body afterAvards hanging 
to a lamp post. Always carried the kej^'S in my pocket 
or kept them under my pillow at night; was asleep when 
they first came, about 2:30 a. m." 

Clinton Wise, son of the jailer, who had been on guard 
for some two months, testified that he was in the sher- 
iff's office when another guard rushed in saying "the mob 
has come." He rushed out and found the main haJl of 
the Court House filled Avith men. He managed to slip 
down the back stairs, but was intercepted by men in the 
basement. He struggled to get to his father, but the 
men forced him to go with them and unlock the inside 
■door. He then threw the keys down and ran into the hall. 
The men pulled him back inside to the women's cell, and 
learning there were none but women there, they shoved 
young Wise up to the door of the cell where Howard and 


his wife were confined. Wise was there ordered to un- 
lock the door, but sturdily refused to do this. Then 
one of the men unlocked it, and they soon had hold of 
their victim. Wise says Howard did not make any noise, 
only asking once or twice that he might be given a min- 
ute or two of time to say farewell to his wife. Mrs. How- 
ard was screaming, begging for mercy and reproaching 
the men. A rope was called for and one Avas brought in 
and one end of it placed around Howard's neck. He was 
then hastily dragged from the cell. 

The doomed man was in this manner dragged up the 
stairs into the main hall of the Court House, and from 
there down the front stone steps, and from what is known 
is supposed to have been stunned if not killed by the 
brutal dragging over the stone steps and the stone and 
gravel of the outside walk. There was nothing on him 
but an undershirt, and his body was much bruised. The 
mob dragged his body to a lamp post on the northeast 
corner of the Court House square, and there it was sus- 
pended with the rope by the neck, his feet reaching 
within a short distance of the ground. Then there was 
yelling by the mob, accompanied by the firing of pistols., 
guns, etc. Having accomplished their deadly purpose the 
mob quickly dispersed, going in separate parties in dif- 
ferent directions. Some went down Fifth, while others 
went down Court avenue, some crossing the Des Moines 
and others the Raccoon. Not a few of them had horses, 
which had been left a few blocks away, and these no 
doubt came from the country. Apparently the whole 
affair had been carefully planned before hand and was 
relentlessly carried out to the end. 

This brutal work of a mob naturally caused intense 
excitement in town and county. The Register, with true 


newspaper enterprise, in a few hours after tlie tragedy 
had been enacted, published a full account of the same. 
The body of Howard was taken down in a short time 
after the mob dispersed and soon a coroner's jury was 
empaneled to investigate, under the direction of Dr.- 
A. M. Overman, at the time coroner of the county. The 
three jurors were: James F. Kemp, Will. Porter and W. 
P. Hearty. The demand was such that the body of How- 
ard was placed in a room in the Court House, and during 
the daj'' thousands of curious men, women and children 
crowded there to look upon the bruised and dead body. 
While a few expressed more or less disapprobation of 
the action of the mob it was noticeable that but little 
sympathy was expressed in regard to the dead man. Few 
had any sympathy to extend in that direction. 

On that day and also on the day following large meet- 
ings of the citizens were held at the Court House, at 
which speeches were made and resolutions were adopted 
denouncing the action of the mob, and calling for the 
arrest, conviction and punishment of those who had en- 
gaged in this illegal work. And in addition the city and 
county police officers were urged to greater diligence 
in the prevention of crime. But at the same time few 
expected or even hoped that any of the members of the 
mob would be exposed and punished. The coroner's jury 
continued its investigation for three days, and while hav- 
ing a well-grounded suspicion as to who some of the 
guilty men were, at the same time were so baffled by 
contradictory evidence, etc., that they could not, much 
as they may have desired, name any of the men with 
the assurance that the proof thereafter would sustain 
the charge. They finally returned the following verdict:: 

An inquisition held at Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa,, 


ou the fifteenth to the eighteenth days of December, 
1874, before A. M. Overman, coroner of said county, on 
the body of Charles Howard Nelson, then lying dead, 
by the jurors, whose names are hereto subscribed. The 
said jurors, upon their oaths, do say: That the said 
Charles Howard Nelson came to his death on the fifteenth 
day of December, by being dragged and hung by the 
neck until he was dead, by the hands of some persons 
to us unknown, acting as a mob; and that the same was 
done feloniously. 

In testimony whereof the said jurors have hereunto 
s-et their hands the day and year aforesaid. 


Approved: A. M. OVERMAN, Coroner. 

No real effort was afterwards made to discover and 
punish members of the mob, and it must be confessed 
that for some time thereafter the hanging of Howard 
had a very salutary effect upon the roughs of the city and 
■county. They feared thej might meet Avith the same swift 
punishment. The writer was a member of a subsequent 
grand jurj', then composed of fifteen members, and 
charged with the investigation of the Howard lynching. 
One day members were joking each other about having 
been with the mob, when some one suggested they each 
and all take an oath that they had not been members of 
that mob. Immediately nearly all raised a hand to take 
tlie oath, when the writer quietly but pointedlj^ whispered 
to one of the jurors : "You can't take that oath." Quickly 
his face paled and flushed and his hand dropped to his 
side. The oath was not taken, and the writer was then 
convinced of the truth of what he had before suspected, 
that one or more of the grand jury had been active par- 
ticipants in the Howard mob. This gi'and juiy reported 
no facts or indictments, and the Howard lynching passed 


into history, without any of the participants therein ever 
being- Ijnown to the public. The mob and its action was 
long a disgrace to tlie city and county, and was felt to 
be such by most of the best citizens, though it may have 
been not altogether without its compensation. 

Charles Ricord, indicted for complicity in the murder 
of Howard, was after considerable delay placed on trial 
in the District Cburt, and after a legal struggle of some 
length was acquitted hj the juiy. The main counsel in 
his defense was Judge Sam H. Fairall, of Iowa City. 

George Jamieson, another young man who was also 
connected with the crime, was also let go free. Annie 
Groves or Mrs. Howard was also, after a time, discharged 
from custody. Vina Wear and Belle Barton, the young- 
women who were occupants of Annie Groves' house at 
the time of the murder, and knew nearly all about it, 
were also allowed to go free. In a short time afterward 
Vina Wear married Charles Ricord, and went to live with 
her husband at Iowa City, his old home. Not many 
months after it was announced she had died very sud- 
denly, and under somewhat suspicious circumstances. 
Belle Barton married George Jamieson, and they took 
up their residence in Omaha, Neb. She, too, died sutl- 
denly. There may be no foundation in fact for it, but 
the belief was general among those more or less familiar 
with, the circumstances, that both of these young women 
were foully dealt with, and that their deaths were the 
result of the knowledge they had .concerning the murder 
of Johnson. The fate of Annie Groves or Mrs. Howard, 
is not generally known, although it was reported she had 
again married and reformed, and may yet be living some- 
where in the West. The murders of Johnson, Mrs. Bar- 
rett and Mailand all occurred in one year — Johnson being 


murdered in June and Mrs. Barrett and Mailand it was 
supposed on the same night in September, and Howard 
was hung in December — making the year 1874 famous 
in the criminal annals of Des Moines and Polk County. 


The same week in which Howard was hung another 
mob gathered in Washington Township, in the extreme 
northeastern corner of the county, and made threats 
against a man, although it did not take his life. Not 
much was published at the time in regard to this affair, 
and afterward an effort seemed to be made to prevent 
all reports of it reaching the public. The newspapers of 
the day made only brief mention of the facts. It ap- 
pears there had resided in that portion of the county for 
a number of years an old man named Kirkman, who had 
gathered considerable wealth, but had the reputation of 
being a very disagreeable neighbor and very unpleasant 
husband and father. Finally his treatment became so 
Dad the wife was compelled to leave him and take refuge 
with her son-in-law, Zinsmaster. This angered the old 
man, not only against his wife, but also against the son- 
in-law, Zinsmaster. It is said he made threats of injury 
to the latter. Be that as it may Zinsmaster's large barn 
was fired and destroyed with five head of horses, several 
hundred bushels of grain, farming implements, etc. This 
fire and the suspicions concerning its origin caused great 
excitement in the neighborhood, and it was not long be- 
fore some one hundred and fifty to two hundred of the 
farmers and others of that rural community gathered 
together and made a visit to old man Kirkman. 

Nearly all were satisfied that the old man was in some 
way responsible for the fire and destruction of valuable 
property. This was denied by him and there was no 


proof to substantiate his guilt. A few thought that per- 
haps some miscreants had perpetrated the crime, rightly 
thinking that on account of the feud between the old 
man and Zinsmaster, the crime would be charged upon 
the former. The assembled farmers, however, had Kirk- 
man in their power, and for a time his life was in some 
danger. Some of the crowd were willing to waive proof 
of his guilt as an incendiary and hang him on general 
principles — that he was a bad man to have in the neigh- 
borhood and his death would be a benefit to the com- 
munity generally. But the better sense and love of jus- 
tice of many of those present finally prevailed, and Kirk- 
man was let go a free but somewhat frightened man. The 
gathered farmers then dispersed to their respective homes, 
no doubt feeling much better satisfied with themselves 
than they would if they had pursued the matter to a fatal 
termination. Kirkman did not escape so well some time 
after when in Story County he came to his death at the 
hands of a mob of citizens, some of whom may have been 
residents of Polk County. 


Johnson, for whose murder Howard was hung by a mob, 
was murdered June 14, 1874, and another murder, which 
occurred a little more than two months after had much 
to do with ultimately causing the death of the latter at 
the hands of the mob. This was the horrible murder in 
Des Moines of a young woman named Ellen or Ella Bar- 
rett. This murder was perpetrated on the night follow- 
ing August 27, 1874. This fiendish crime aroused the 
people of the city and county as they never were aroused 
before or since. Had the perpetrator of the crime been 
found at once, and his guilt fully established, he would 
have met with summary punishment at the hands of a 


shocked and indignant people, who would not have feared 
to execute their vengeance in the broad light of day. The 
Register of the next day after this murder was discov- 
ered gives so full and clear an account that we do not 
think we can do better than to copy it entire. 

"The most horrible murder in the history of Des Moines 
was committed on Thursday night in the building on the 
corner of Seventh and Walnut streets, the lower story 
of which is occupied by McFarland's dry goods store. 
How or when the murder was committed is still a part 
of unknown historj', the terrible deed not having been 
discovered till about noon yesterday. 

"Mrs. Ellen Barrett, the victim, from all that we have 
been able to learn, came tO' Des Moines aboiit tAvo weeks 
ago. Monday, August 17th, she went to Mr. McFarland 
to rent the three rooms over his store, stating that she 
desired to engage in the business of dressmaking and 
family sewing. Mr. McFarland at once told her that he 
did not like to let her have the rooms as she was a stran- 
ger, and as she could not give any city references, she 
might not be a proper character. At this she grew very 
indignant, replying that while a lone and friendless 
woman was always subject to distimst, a man, no matter 
what his character might be, was always treated as a 
person of decency and honor. She seemed very much 
hurt at Mr. McFarland's hesitancy about letting her have 
the rooms. Seeing this, and fearing that he had wronged 
the lady in questioning her, rented her the rooms and 
she paid a month's rent in advance. 

"The same day she bought furniture of Merrill, Keeney 
& Co., and fitted up her rooms, to be used as a dressmak- 
ing and sewing establishment, and as a lodging place. 
Securing work a day or two afterward she seemed to be 
in excellent spirits, as Mr. McFarland saw her as she 
passed back and forth to the Avenue House, where she 
had engaged meals. 

"A day or two ago Mr. McFarland thought there was 
too much running up and down stairs for a lady without 
friends, and after thinking the matter over concluded to 
notify her to move out. Thursday afternoon, soon after 


dinner, he called her down stairs and informed her that 
she must seek other quarters at once, as she had betrayed 
confidence with him and he would not permit her to re- 
main any longer. She replied that she could not get 
away that day, but she knew where she could get other 
rooms, and would move out the next day. This AA^as the 
last time Mr. McFarland saw her alive. About eight 
o'clock that night he heard her come down the back 
stairs and lock the door from the inside. At nine o'clock 
he closed his store and went home. At that houi' every- 
thing was quiet, and just before leaving he heard Mrs. 
Barrett walking around on the floor above. 

"Yesterday morning when he came to the store he no- 
ticed that the curtains were still down in Mrs. Barrett's 
rooms, and thought it a little singular, as she was in the 
habit of rising early. Shortly afterward a negro boy 
went up the stairs and knocked at her door. Eliciting 
no response he came down into the store and asked where 
she was, as she had some work he had been sent for. No 
one being able to inform him he went away. About 11 
o'clock a woman came, with the same result. Just be- 
fore going to dinner Mr. McFarland remarked to some of 
the attendants in the store that the woman must be sick 
and that as soon as he returned if they did not hear from 
her some of them must go up and see if she needed as- 

"When McFarland came back, nothing having been 
heard from her, he proceeded to the back door. On open- 
ing it he was horror-stricken to find the steps covered 
with pools of blood. 

"His fears were at once aroused; he sent a boy to notify 
the police, and seeing Alderman EoUins and several other 
city officials across the street, he called them over, and 
they proceeded at once to the place of horror. 

"At the head of the back stairs they found the coi-pse 
on the fioor, the head all covered over with blood, the 
eyes upturned as if the last thought and act had been a 
plea for mercy. The murderer had evidently been obliged 
to perform the horrible task of dragging her up stairs, 
the passageway being so narrow and short that he could 
not shut the door after him as he went out withou,t the 


•corpse falling out, or a portion of it protruding through 
the open door. 

"The murdered woman was of medium size, with light 
complexion, face slightl}^ freckled, dark auburn hair, and 
light blue eyes. She had on, as left by the murderer, a 
dress, chemise, and gaiter shoes. Dr. McGorrisk was 
among the first at the scene, and gave it as his oj^inion 
that the murder had been committed about midnight on 
Thursda^r night. The corpse being, as he expressed it, 
'stiff enough to have been murdered at 11 o'clock last 

"There is but one opinion as to hoAV she was mur- 
dered. The shoes and dress clearly indicate that hear- 
ing somebody at the back door she had arisen from bed 
and quickly slipping them on, had gone down to the 
back door to ascertain who it was. In further support 
of this oijinion her stockings and garters were found 
lying on the floor at the side of the bed, and the bed 
itself looked as if some one had arisen from it. Arriv- 
ing at the foot of the stairs and opening the door to her 
cold-blooded murderer, the supposition is that he struck 
her on the forehead with a hand-ax before she had an 
opportunity to ascertain whO' he was or to raise a cry 
for assistance. No evidence of a struggle having taken 
place was visible, and the only marks visible in the nar- 
row stairway were two indentures made in the firm stud- 
ding by the fall of a small ax, hatchet, or some equally 
l)lunt instrument. 

"The wounds are thus described bv Drs. McGorrisk, 
liawson and Davidson, who made the examination: 
'The first incised wound of the scalp was in the right 
mastoid region, extending from the ear backwards and 
upwards, with fracture being four inches in length. The 
second wound two and a half inches above the first, 
fracturing the light parietal bone, extending some three 
inches from the parietal ridge to the middle of the skull. 
The third wound two inches above the second, two inches 
in length, cutting down to the bone without fractnre. 
The fourth wound, one and a half inches long, extend- 
ing from the left parietal, or the left side of the head, 
backwards, cutting also the bone. Tlie fifth wound, 
about one inch below the fourth wound, and about three 


inches above the left ear, tAvo inches long, and cutting 
through to the bone without fracture. The sixth wound 
was a contused wound, as if made by some blunt instru- 
ment, on the left frontal bone, immediately above the 
left eye. Upon examination it was found that the skull 
was fractured in the most shocking manner. The right 
parietal bone and the right and upper side of the oc- 
cipital bones were crushed to atoms. Also there was 
a contusion in front of the right ear, fi-acturing the 
rames of the lower jaw, and causing blood to pass freely 
from the meatus of the right ear in the region of the 
wound. The phj^sicians state that either of the four 
more prominent wounds would have killed her, and that 
her death must have been instantaneous.' 

"In the front room, which Avas occupied bj' Mrs. Bar- 
rett as work and bedroom, was found the rifled trunk, 
which had been dragged from the corner to the stand, 
on which the lamp sat, still burning at the time the ex- 
amination was made, which had been lighted hj the 
murdered woman or her murderer the night before. The 
murderer had eAddentlj' made a hastj' examination of the 
trunk. The drawer had been taken out and set on the 
floor and then thoroughly oA'erhauled. A fcAv articles 
below tlie drawer had then been taken out, when, prob- 
ably finding what he was seeking, he left the remainder 
of the tiTink just as he had found it. An examination 
of the trunk by the coroner and police resulted iu find- 
ing a number of letters, photographs, a bank book, con- 
taining some tAventy or more canceled checks, and a 
number of keepsakes and trinkets. The letters covered 
a period of four years, including probably the last letter 
written by Mrs. Barrett, which Avas dated August 28, 
1874. It Avas probably written the night before, and 
dated with the A^ew of liaA'ing it bear the same date as 
the postmark. The contents of these letters we are not 
at liberty to make public, as the eAidence contained in 
them may be of A^alue in ferreting out the perpetrators 
of the bloody deed. 

"The woman liA^ed entirely alone and employed no 
help. Her situation, therefore, as her fate came upon 
her, was one of a lone, friendless and defenceless woman. 
Dramatic skill can add nothing to the unveiled horror 


of the tragedy. It is utterly black and wholly fiendish 
in all its features. Imagination of man or woman can 
supply nothing to make it more horrible. 

"It is evident from the many letters found in the 
trunk, and those from her husband, that the woman was 
originally from Cleai'field, Pennsylvania, and that she 
afterwards visited Quincy, Illinois, Atchison, Kansas, 
and Washington and loAva City, Iowa. Among the 
photographs found, two or three dozen of them, was one 
marked 'my husband, 1873,' and another with the name 
of a gentleman, whose address was Davenport. 

"The woman was of good appearance, and probably 
twenty-eight or thirty years old." 

From the character and manner of this brutal mur- 
der, or from other causes, it was at once suggested that 
the crime had been committed by one or more negroes. 
The writer remembers visiting the scene shortly after 
the discovery of the dead body, in company with James 
S. Clarkson, then the editor of the Eegister. After mak- 
ing an examination they retired together, when the 
fiuestion arose, "Who could have done it?" After a pause, 
with a tone of deep conviction, Mr. Clarkson answered, 
"This horrible crime was committed by one or more ne- 
groes." The people were very much excited over the 
murder and many rumors as to suspected persons were 
in circulation. The officers of the law, to their credit 
be it recorded, were indefatigable in their searches for 
the criminal. It was evident from the first that rob- 
bery was not the object of the murder. It must have 
been committed for revenge, or for some other purj^jose, 
perhaps to silence the woman who might have had some 
hold upon some man. The manner in which the letters 
and private papers of the murdered Avoman had been 
overhauled added to this suspicion. Among these let- 
ters were found some from prominent men in other cit- 
ies in this and other States where the woman had tem- 


porarily resided, which, had they been published, would 
have caused trouble and grief in a number of homes, but 
the coroner pnidently withheld them from the public, 
and they were finally destroyed. 

After a time, and when the officers judged they had 
pr(jper evidence, a number of arrests were made, all of 
these arrests being negroes. Three of these, well known 
in the city, were indicted at the next term of the District 
Court, namely: Henry Eed, Andy Smith and Archie 
Erown. Red was a stout, surly negro man, who was 
looked upon as being somewhat brutal and desperate. 
tSniith was a more pleasant and popular negro, though 
he had been in several difficulties prior to this. Archie 
Brown was the popular porter of the Savery House and 
Icnown and much liked by hundreds of persons who had 
in the years of his service been guests of the hotel. The 
general belief was that Red, whose character was known 
and who had previoiisly had a trifling quarrel with the 
woman, had himself used the bloody hatchet and com- 
mitted the murder, in which he had been aided and 
abetted by Brown and Smith and perhaps others. It 
was also generally believed that some white man was 
behind the tragedy and was the backer of Archie Brown 
in all his connection therewith. These rumors, how- 
ever much foundation they may have had in fact, were 
never lu-oven to be true. Brown, however, never lacked 
for help or money in his defense. He was finally tried 
upon the indictment at Ottumwa, in Wapello County, a 
change of venue from the county and judicial district 
haA'ing been taken, and after an exciting trial was ac- 
quitted. He lived in the city for years afterwards, and 
(lied some three years ago, after a lingering illness. 

Henry Red was also granted a change of venue and 


was piuv-ed on trial at Newton, in the adjoining county 
of Jasper. After a leiigtlij' trial he was found guilty, 
and sent to the penitentiary for life. He was removed 
to Fort Madison, where after a time his, health failed 
and finally death came. It is stated on good authority, 
that A\']ien he saw and realized that his earthly end was 
near, on the day before he died, he confessed his guilt 
and acknowledged he had murdered the woman A'ery 
much in the manner indicated on his trial. While con- 
fessing this lie obstinately refused to the last to state 
w hy he murdered her, or who his accomplices were, if, 
as was supposed, he had accomplices. 

Andy Smith, the last of the trio, was tried in Polk 
Countj', and was ably and earnestly defended by Josiah 
Given, now one of tlie judges of the Iowa Supreme 
Court. 'I'lie judge believed in liis innocence from first 
to last, but the jury took another view of the testimony 
and Smith was convicted. 


At about the time, or the same night of the Ella 
Barrett murder. Farmer Mailand, an eccentric bachelor, 
living on Mud Creek, in Camp Township, was also mur- 
dered. He lived in a farm house in the timber alone 
on his farm, and a quarter of a mile or more distant from 
his nearest neighbor. Those acquainted with his char- 
acter spoke of him as being of a timid, cautious dispo- 
sition, never permitting any strangers to be about his 
habitation after dark. Then he would not open his door 
to any persons unless he was well acquainted with them. 
He was generally understood to be well supplied with 
money, and frequently loaned his neighbors small sums. 

On the afternoon of October 1, 1874, a young man of 


the neighborlioocl went to Mailand's house for the pur- 
pose of borrowing a farming implement, and entering 
the house was horrified to see Mailand's body l,ying on 
the floor, cold and stiff in death. The alarm was given 
and the startled neighbors soon gathered and entered 
upon an investigation. The body when found was lying 
in the front room, face upturned, eyes staring wildly, 
and the palms of the hand clutched as if in great pain. 
The body was clad in pantaloons and shirt, the remain- 
der of his ordinary clothes being on a chair near the bed. 
Three wounds appeared upon the body, either one being 
sufficient to cause death. One was under the right arm 
and one on each breast. They were evidently made by 
balls of large size from a revolver. The appearance in- 
dicated tliat some person or persons had aroused the 
murdered man in the night, and, hastily slipping on his 
pantaloons, he had gone to and partly opened the door 
to see who was there. Then the first shot was fired, and 
as he staggered back into the room two more were fired 
into his body, when he fell to the floor dead. Robbery 
was no doubt the intent of the assassins, though they 
evidently failed to obtain the booty they sought, as on 
the bodj' of the dead man was found a. pocket book con- 
taining over two hundred dollars in bills, and in the 
straw tick upon which he had been sleeping were a num- 
ber of valuable papers. 

Mailand was, so far as known, last seen alive by his 
neighbors on the Monday previous, when he finished 
threshing his wheat and paid off his men. This was 
about 4 o'clock in the afternoon and several of his neigh- 
bors testified at the inquest that about 9 o'clock on the 
same evening they heard pistol shots in the neighbor- 
hood of Mailand's house. One neighbor said he was at 


the creek only about one quarter of a mile distant, talk- 
ing with some emigrants returning from Kansas, when 
he heard the shots. Nothing strange seemed to have 
been thought of the shots and the house was not visited 
until Wednesday afternoon, when the murder was first 
discovered. It was also found that a valuable horse be- 
longing to Mailand had been stolen, and probably was 
ridden off by the murderer. This murder haAdng proba- 
bly occuri'ed about the time that of Ella Barrett in Des 
Moines it was at first supposed the same persons had 
committed both. But this theory was soon abandoned. 
Maliand's missing horse was soon found not far from its 

The coroner's inquest was held and the body of the 
murdered man duly buried. The people were much 
aroused, and talked of swift punishment of the mur- 
derer when found, but he never was found. Who killed 
Mailand was a mystery then, and a mystery it has re- 
mained even unto this day. 



ONE evening in 1873 the citizens of Des Moines 
were surprised by the report that N. L. Yard, 
a carpenter, had shot and killed Jack Jones, a 
pioneer citizen. This report was soon verilied. Jones 
and Yard were neighbors, living in the north- 
western part of the city, and had been well ac- 
quainted with each other. Both were married men 
with families. But for some time previous the two 
families had not been friendly, and it was charged that 
Jones had also abused or insulted Mrs. Yard. Jones had 
been told by Yard not to again come to his house. On 
the evening of the fatal affray Jones had been to a well 
near by and passed through the lot belonging to Yard. 
The latter was in the door of his house, and as Jones 
came up some words passed between them, and Jones 
advanced towards the house as if to reach Yard. The 
latter's wife stepped in front of her husband and be- 
tween the two men, when Yard raised a shotgun, which 
was heavilj^ charged with ball, and fired directly at 
Jones, who fell and died in a short time. There was 
more than the usual excitement over the tragedy, but 
Yard gave himself up to the officers and was subse- 
quently released on bail. The family and friends of 
Jones claimed that it was a deliberate murder, and some 
severe threats were made, but fortunately no further 
encounters occurred. 

At the next term of the District Court, Yard was in- 
dicted for the killing of Jones, and indictments were also 


found against his wife, Mrs. Rachel E. Yard, and E. W. 
Smith as accessories. The latter was a gunsmith of the 
citj', reputed a man of considerable wealth, and it was 
charged he loaded the gain, gave it to Yard, and told 
him to use it upon Jones on the first provocation. It 
was also charged that he was in the house at the time 
of the shooting, and some alleged that he, and not Yard,, 
fired the fatal shot. 

When the trial came off in the District Court, the room 
was crowded with curious and interested spectators. 
Judge Josiah (Jiven, now on the Supreme bench, led in 
the prosecutitm, while Judge C. 0. Nourse was the lead- 
ing attorney for tlie defence. Judge Nourse, to the sur- 
prise of the bar, elected to have all the defendants tried 
togetlier. And after the evidence was in he caused an- 
otlier surxjrise by, after the opening of the prosecuting 
attorney, submitting the case to the jury without fur- 
ther argument. By this move he shut out Judge Given, 
who was prepared with a speech which certainly would 
not have been pleasing to the defendants. The result 
showed Judge Nourse's judgment was good. After 
being instructed by the court, the jury retired and in 
due time returned a verdict of not guilty as to all the 
defendants. Of these Smith died some years ago, and 
Yard and his wife subsequently removed from the State. 


From an early day there resided in Des Moines a man 
named John Little. He made his home generally on the 
East Side. He also served as a soldier in an Iowa regi- 
ment during the war. In 1874 he was living here, and 
was not regarded as a ver^^ bad man. He had a wife and 
family, and the wife was reported as not sustaining a 


character beyond reproach. lu the fall of that year Mrs. 
Little left town and went to Newton, Jasper Connty, 
and it was reported she had become intimate with a 
negro man named Tait. Little was known as a resolnte, 
if not desperate man, and he swore rengeance. Going 
to Newton in the latter part of September, 1874, he 
hnnted for Tait and his recreant wife, and finding them 
one evening together at a dance in that town. Little then 
and there shot and killed Tait. Little then disappeared 
and the police officers always believe that towards morn- 
ing of that same night Little, with perhaps one or two 
others, murdered and robbed Mailand at the latter's 
home on Mnd Creek, Camp Township, in this county. 

Little made good his escape, and as was afterwards 
learned, went to Texas and Mexico. Adam Hafner, now 
a member of the City Council, but then at the head of 
the police force of the citj', kept a close watch for the 
return of Little, who had in the meantime been indicted 
for the murder of the said Tait in Jasper County, and 
for the murder of Mailand in Polk County. After the 
exoiration of some six months Officer Hafner learned 
that Little had returned, and was located on a small 
patch of ground in the timber in Warren County. Haf- 
ner knew Little to be a desperate man, but he determined 
to capture him. One evening he, in companj^ with Hugli 
Brennan, now a well known attorney, but then on the 
police force, left the city on this dangerous expedition. 
They went in a carriage and were well armed. During 
the night they lost their way, but finally managed about 
daylight to reach the cabin where it was supposed Little 
was to be found. Brennan, with his shotgun, took up a 
position in the rear of the house, wliile Hafner boldly 
knocked at the front door and then quickly stepped in. 


Peering around in the dim light he found the man he 
Avanted lying on the floor. Before Little was fully awake 
and could grab his gun, which was hanging on the wall, 
Hafner had him covered with his pistol. Being told he 
must surrender peaceably Little reluctantly admitted 
he, for once, had been caught napping. He gave up and 
was quickly secured. 

The officers brought Little to Des Moines and after- 
wards finding that, though they had little if any doubt 
of his guilt, they had doubt as to their having sufficient 
proof to convict him of the murder of Mailand, it was 
determined to hand him over to the Jasj)er County au- 
thorities, who were anxious to place him on trial for the 
murder of Tait. Accordingly Little was taken to Jas- 
per County, and in due course was tried, convicted and 
sentenced to the penitentiary^ for life. After sei'ving 
seventeen j^^ears at Fort Madison Little was given a par- 
don and returned to Des Moines. In a short time after- 
Avards it is understood he made a homestead claim in 
Dakota, behaved himself and was doing well at the time 
of his death, not long ago. • 


One of the most brutal murders ever known in Des 
Moines was the murder of his wife by Henry O. Osboru, 
near the corner of Second and Elm streets in 1880. Mrs. 
Osborn was a A^ery handsome woman of less than twen- 
ty-five years of age, and her husband Henry Avas but 
little older. They lived south of the Coon and he was 
by occupation a coal miner. Late in the afternoon of 
tlie murder Mrs. Osborn had come into tOAvn for the pur- 
pose of taking home some Avashing she had done that 
■day, and Avas on her AA^ay home Avlien at the place des- 


ignated she met her husband. After some couversatioii 
between the two the husband knocked the wife down 
with his fist, and then, apparently frantic with rage, 
picked up a stone weighing several pounds, now in tlie 
curiosity cabinet at police headquarters, and struck her 
one or more violent blows upon the left side of the face. 
These blows crushed her head and face in a horrible 
manner, and death followed almost instantly. 

The alarm was given at once. The body was taken 
into Dr. Campbell's office near by, but nothing could be 
done to save her; life was gone. The police immediately 
instituted a search for the murderer, but being misled 
by reports they failed to find him. He had run up the 
railroad track and hid in a box car, where he remained 
several hours, but getting thoroughly chilled with the 
cold was finally forced to come out and seek for a warmer 
place. He then went up the railroad track to the water 
works and took refuge from the cold in the boiler room. 
There he finally told something of what he had done, 
and was advised to surrender himself to the officers. Early 
the following morning he surrendered himself to the po- 
lice and was placed in jail. In time he was indicted for 
murder, had a trial, was convicted and sentenced to be 
hanged by the neck until dead. His attorney took a num- 
ber of exceptions and appealed to the Supreme Court. 
After some time had passed the higher court made an 
order for a new trial. A second time Osborn faced a jury 
in the District Court, was again convicted and sentenced 
to the penitentiary for life. Osborn was a quiet though 
somewhat sulky man, and had maintained a fair reputa- 
tion prior to the murder. He was, however, of a jealous 
disposition, and to jealousy of his wife was attributed 
his murderous assault. It is understood he yet remains 


a prisoner at Fort Madisou, sennng the sentence im- 
posed upon liim by the jury and coiirt. 


One evening about 9 o'clock in September, 1881, Henry 
Scribner, a prominent citizen and business man of Des 
Moines, who had then lived here some twenty-five years, 
was found lying senseless on the sidewalk in front of 
a coal office on Sixth street, between Locust and Wal- 
n\it. He had evidently been knocked down and terri- 
bly injured. He was taken to his home on Sycamore, 
now Grand avenue, and Fifth street. Physicians were 
called and everj'thing possible done to save his life. He, 
however, never recovered full consciousness, and died 
some twenty-four hours after the blows had been struck, 
without being able to give any information as to who 
his murderer or murderers were. The excitement over 
this murder of a prominent citizen on a public street at 
this early hour of the evening was A^ery great, and evei'y 
effort was made to discover the guilty man, but without 
any certain result. One theory was that he had been 
beaten by a man named James Harris, whose wild and 
brutal, if not crazj' actions immediately prior to and 
following- the murder of Henry Scribner gave much color 
to the theory. Then Scribner, who after the blows had 
been received, had laid senseless and hopeless, and yet 
was not robbed. His Avatch, money, and other personal 
effects had not been touched. These and other facts 
added to the mystery. 


There was a murder committed in 1876 in Dallas County, 
near the Polk County line. Jasper Mason, of Jasper 
Count}', was traveling with a man by the name of Martin 


Munda. One morning the dead body of Munda was found 
a short distance from the town of De Soto. He had evi- 
dently been shot and killed. An inquest was held, and 
as it was known that Mason had been with the dead 
man in De Soto and elsewhere, a search was made for 
Mason, who had suddenly disappeared. In a short time 
he was found at his old home in or near Prairie City, 
and was arrested. He was taken back to Dallas County, 
where he was almost immediately indicted for the mur- 
der of Munda. He was soon placed on trial and pleaded 
that he had killed Munda in self-defence, after the latter 
had attacked him in a quarrel between the two. This 
defence was regarded as insufficient. Mason was found 
guilty and sentenced to imprisonment in the peniten- 
tiarj at Fort Madison during life. There he was taken 
and has remained in confinement for nearly twenty 
3'ears. At this writing he and his friends are making 
an effort to secure his pardon and a discharge from the 
penitentiary, where he has been serving so long a time. 


In 1883 there lived in Des Moines a man with some 
negro blood in him who went by the name of Doctor 
Epps. He claimed to be an "Indian doctor," and was 
also a barber, having his shop in the basement under the 
Iowa National Bank, corner of Fourth and Walnut streets. 
He made his home on the East Side, on Fourth street, 
below Court avenue. At the same time there was in the 
city a man named Fountain George, in the employ of 
Mills & Co., in their large printing house. He was gen- 
erally regarded as a quiet, inoffensive man, and Avas at 
times subject to epileptic fits. Fountain George had 
gone over on the East Side, called for Dr. Epps, and 
after having some conversation, Epps started to run up 


the sidewalk when George fired at him with a pistol, and 
then following- his victim up again fired. His aim was 
good, and Dr. Epps fell mortally wounded to the side- 
walk, and in a short time was a dead man. George was 
promptlj' arrested, without any trouble, and claimed the 
shooting had been done because of the wrongful action 
of the deceased towards a young female relative of 
George's, and upon the trial, which in due course fol- 
lowed in the District Court, this provocation was set up 
as a partial defense and also the fact that George was 
subject to cer-tain mental and physical ailments. But 
they were all withoiit avail. George was found guilty 
of murder in the first degree and sentenced to be hanged. 
An appeal was taken to the Supi'eme Court, and there 
the judgment Avas aiflrmed. It then devolved upon the 
Governor to fix the day for his execution. But repre- 
sentations were made of the facts as to the condition, 
mentally and physicallj^, of George, then in the peniten- 
tiary, and the Governor postponed from time to time ap- 
pointing a day. The case was handed from one Governor 
to his successor, and finally this tragedy was ended by 
the death of George in the penitentiary, where he had 
been confined from the time of his conviction. 


From the earliest days of the white settlement of the 
country, the stealing of horses was more or less a prev- 
alent, though dangerous, pursuit in Polk County. No 
doubt prior to the appearance of the whites, the Indians 
were engaged in stealing horses or "ponies" from those 
of other tinbes and became experts in this work. But it 
remained for City Marshal Hafner, in August, 1885, to 
make the largest haul of stolen horses at one draw of 
the legal net ever known in Iowa. At the Rock Island 


Railroad stock yards in that month he captnred seven- 
teen stolen horses. Tliej' were brought there and own- 
ership claimed by one Thomas Shields, a Canadian, who 
had gathered them up over a large scope of country 
without the consent of their real owners. Fifteen of 
these captured horses were returned to their owners, 
and Shields, who was wanted in four States for his in- 
fractions of the law, was tried and convicted in an Iowa 
court and sentenced to five years in the penitentiary. 
This was very good work on the part of Officer Hafner, 
but what was his reward? He kept two of the horses, 
and some |1,000 in cash captured with them from Shields, 
and after paying out all the money to claimants and re- 
covering fifteen horses for them, he had to be defendant 
in several suits, and had to finally pay out |235 of his 
own money, and also bear the expense of kee])ing two 
of the horses for one entire year. This certainly was 
not encouraging to an honest, faithful officer. 


In 1882 George Crane, a young man who was born and 
reared in Des Moines and Bloomfield Township, his 
father being James C>rane, a well known pioneer mer- 
chant and farmer, came to town with Emil Bleeckman, 
a son of a neighbor. After spending some time in the 
city, during which time it is said Crane drank more or 
less liquor, while Bleeckman remained sober, the two 
young men started on their way home. In some man- 
ner a quarrel arose between them, and culminated at 
the gate near the home of Bleeckman. After a short 
altercation there Crane drew a pistol, which he carried, 
and fired at Bleeckman. The wound was of such a na- 
ture that after lingering a day or two the wounded man 
died. There was much excitement over the tragedv, but 


the law was allowed to take its course. Crane was ar- 
rested, indicted by the grand jury and tried in the Dis- 
trict Court, Judge W. H. McHenry presiding. After au 
exciting legal contest Crane was acquitted and set free. 


In February, 1884, the dead body of an unknown man 
was found one morning lying in an alley south of Court 
avenue, between First and Second streets. Subsequent 
information gave the name of the man as Williams, a 
traveler from an Eastern State. The body was buried 
in Woodland Cemetery, and although the police had 
suspicions of some of the inmates of disorderlji' houses 
then existing in the neighborhood no proof could be 
found, and the murder was being forgotten. In March, 
1885, a sensation was caused by one Harry Wolfe having 
his wife, Carrie, arrested for adultery. They were both 
hard characters, and on trial before the justice, Carrie 
was discharged. This excited the wrath of Harry, and 
then he charged that at the time of the murder of Will- 
iams, more than a year previous, he and his wife were 
keeping a house of ill-fame on Court avenue; that the 
night of his death Williams came to their house, and 
went into a room with his, Wolfe's wife. Later he heard 
a, shot, rushed in and found his wife, with a pistol in her 
hand, standing over the dead body of Williams; that he 
and his wife took some eight dollars in money from the 
body, and then carried it out and placed it where it was 
found the next morning. He also stated Williams had 
some three thousand dollars in money, which his wife 
got hold of before the shooting, and which she had se- 
creted. This was the substance of the story told by 
Harry W^olfe. They were both arrested. Carrie Wolfe 
vehfementJy denied the story, and alleged that Harry 


liad been drinking excessively for so long a time that lie 
had become crazy, and did not know what he was talking 
about; that he had imagined the whole story in regard 
to her committing the murder; that she knew nothing 
about it. Wolfe and his wife were placed in jail for a 
time, and the officers made further investigation. But 
they were without avail, so far as obtaining legal proof, 
and finally Wolfe and his wife were let go free. The 
murder of Williams was then allowed to take its place 
in the too large list of undiscovered and unexplained 
crimes of the countj^ 


In 1883 Scott Smith shot James Reynolds, and in about 
one week thereafter Rejmolds died from the effects of the 
wounds. Smith Avas a j^oung man, Avho had been mostly 
reared in this city, and was an expert gunsmith. He had 
a fair rei^utation, though he would occasionally drink 
more than a temperate man should. Reynolds was also 
a young man, who had lived for years in Des Moines, 
but was regarded as being inclined to go with a crowd 
of not very reputable citizens. On the night of the shoot- 
ing Smith was in an alley south of Walnut street, be- 
tween Sixth and Seventh, when he was approached by 
Reynolds, who demanded from him money with which 
to purchase whiskj^ or for some other purpose. Smith 
refused to be thus "held up" for this or anj^ other pur- 
pose, and upon being approached by Reynolds in a threat- 
ening manner, drew a pistol and fired. As before stated 
Reynolds was mortally wounded and some days after 
died. Smith was promptlj^ arrested, and after the death 
of Reynolds was indicted for murder and subsequently 
stood his trial in the District Court. There he was con- 
victed of manslaughter. He appealed and gave bonds, 


yet he continually brooded over this and perhaps other 
matters, and finally some time thereafter ended all his 
earthly troubles by puttinji' an end to his own life. 


June 17, 1891, a difficulty occurred among some young 
men and boys at the Holiness Camp meeting held in the 
northern portion of Des Moines. John A. Jones, a son 
of an early settler of the same name, made an attack 
upon James F. Kemj), son of T. G. J. Kemp, and in- 
flicted mortal wounds upon him with a razor. It was 
charged he caught Kemp by the head and with the razor 
made a fearful wound, cutting the Jugular vein and into 
the spinal column. Young Kemp was immediately cared 
for, but despite the skill of the surgeons he died some 
fifteen hours after the wounds had been inflicted. He 
was only seventeen years of age, while Jones was in his 
twenty-first year. Jones was arrested, and after a trial 
in the District Court tbe following year the jury failed 
to agree. Some time after this another trial was had, 
and after a proti'acted legal fight the jury returned a ver- 
dict finding young Jones guilty of murder in the second 
degree. Judge Holmes then sentenced him to confine- 
ment in the penitentiaiw for the term of fifteen years. 
The Supreme Court affirmed this sentence and Jones is 
now serving his allotted term in the State penitentiary. 


In April, 1894, Michael Smitli, a well known railroad 
engineer, died in Des Moines very suddenly, although he 
had been more or less unwell for some time. Smith was 
a married man, having a wife, Betsey Smith, who had 
children by a former husband. Some months before his 
death. Smith had been shot at night while in bed with 


his wife. This shot had made him blind. At the time 
of the shootiug it was suspected, if not directly charged, 
that Mrs. Smith, his wife, had fired the shot, though she 
claimed it had been fired by some strange man who had 
entered their room at night, and whom she did not know. 
And again it was claimed that Smith had been shot be- 
cause he had been too intimate with another man's wife. 
After Smith's death the suspicions of foul play were 
fully aroused, and taking the circumstances surrounding 
the case it was more than suspected death had been 
caused by the administration of poison; that Mrs. Smith 
was anxious to become free from a now blind and almost 
helpless husband, and at the same time secure what little 
might be left of his savings and also a few thousand dol- 
lars of insurance then upon his life. A post mort-em ex- 
amination was had and an analysis showed the presence 
of enough of the poison, "Rough on Rats," to have killed 
more than one healthj^ man. 

Mrs. Smith was arrested, and after some delay indicted, 
and was put on ti-ial in the District Court in June, 1894. 
There were in the Smith family at the time of his death 
Mrs. Betsy Smith, her daughter Cora and her sister, Mrs. 
Scoville or Lederer. The latter was nominally the keeper 
of the boarding house, and among the other boarders 
was George Belaire, an intimate associate of Mrs. Smith 
and to whom she had given considerable amounts of 
her husband's money with which to carry on a saloon. 
On the trial Mrs. Scoville, her sister, was the only one 
who testified to the giving of the poison to Smith by his 
wife. This witness testified she had seen her sister ad- 
minister the poison to her husband several times, but was 
forced to admit she had sworn falsely on a previous oc- 
casion. A number of other witnesses testified to the 


shameless neglect of her blind and sick husband, and 
that on the night of his death she prevented the calling 
of a physician until it was too late to save his life. 

County Attorney Davis prosecuted the case with zeal 
and ability, while the defense was mainly in the hands 
of F. B. lluckstep, an able attorney of this city, assisted 
by U. F. Dale. The former's address to the jury is spoken 
of as one of the most able legal efforts in the history of 
the couri. He unmercifully flayed some of the witnesses 
for the ])ro>jecution, and was especially severe upon the 
man ])eJaire, who after wronging the dead man had ac- 
cepted money and other favors from Betsy Smith, pre- 
tended to be her best friend, and then sought to convict 
her of a heinous crime with j)erjured testimony. But the 
eloquence, ability and zeal of Attorney Huckstep could 
not save Betsy Smith. The jury found her guilty of mur- 
der, and she was sentenced to imprisonment for life in 
the Anauiosa i^enitentiary, where she now is. Attorneys 
lluckstep and Dale, however, perfected an appeal to the 
Supreme ("nurt, and are confident that the higher court 
will reverse and set aside the verdict against Betsy 

Then in a few months followed the strangest part of 
this tragedy. Cora, tlie daughter of Betsy Smith, and 
stepdaughter of Michael Smith, vohmtarily comes for- 
ward and confesses that she herself did adminster poison 
to her stepfather, and that her aunt, Mrs. Lederer or Sco- 
ville, did also administer to him poison, and from the 
effects of the same he died. But she solemnly swears 
that her mother never did administer poison to him or 
have anything to do with its administration. Cora, a 
young Avoman, about twenty years of age, upon her own 
voluntary confession, was found guilty of murder, and 


sentenced to the penitentiary for life. She is now with 
her mother at Anamosa penitentiary. The sister of Betsy 
Smitli is reported as again married and removed from the 


A mnrder of recent date is jet fresh in the minds of 
most of the citizens of the county. On the night of the 
19th of May, 1894=, Lucius Blake Eidpath, a conductor on 
the Great Western Railroad, who was then residing with 
his familj' on Third street, Des Moines, while on his way 
fi'oni his home to the railroad station to take charge of 
his train, was assaulted, shot and killed by two, then un- 
known, highwaymen. This murder, so sudden and un- 
provoked, caused much excitement among the citizens 
generallj^, and especialh^ among the hundreds of railroad 
men in the city. 

Fortunately the police officers were enabled to soon lay 
their hands upon the perpetrators of the crime. On the 
following day John Hamil and John Kroiit were arrested 
charged with the crime, and upon the following day 
George Weems was also arrested as one of the guilty 
parties. It was soon learned beyond a doubt that the 
proper persons had been secured, and John Krout was 
anxious to tell all he knew about the tragedy. After the 
arrest of these men, they being young fellows of about 
the age of twenty years, the excitement became more in- 
tense, and threats of lynch law were freely made. A 
large crowd gathered at or near the police station, many 
of whom were wild with excitement, and for a time it 
looked as if swift punishment would follow the crime 
at the hands of exasperated railroad men and other cit- 
izens. Fortunately, through persuasion and the prompt 
action of the police and sheriff's officers, and the lack of 


oroanization among- the people present, the prisoners 
were protected from violence. They were committed 
withont hail, hut when the officers Avith their prisoners 
reached the vicinity of the county jail the,y found another 
large throng- of maddened citizens there gathered. With 
some trouble and a determined show of force the pris- 
oners were finall.y lodged in jail. But as the crowd lin- 
gered around the jail for hours, and appearances indicated 
a probable more determined attempt to reach and injure 
the prisoners, the sheriff wisely determined to place them 
out of the reach of the mob. Accordingly the deputies 
disguised the prisoners and themselves and quietly slipped 
out of the jail and hurried them to a safe place outside 
of the city. There they were kept until the excitement 
had somewhat abated, when they were returned to tlie 
county jail. 

Hamil and Weems were promptlj' indicted, and Krout, 
who was regarded as the least guilty of tlie three, was 
used as a witness for the Btate, and Anally let go free. 
A strong effort was made by the defence to obtain a change 
of venue to another county, on accoimt of the excitement 
and alleged prejudice against the defendants in city and 
county, but these motions were promptly over-ruled by 
Judge Balliet, who presided in the District Court, and 
at the folloAving July term they were each tried separ- 
ately upon the charge of murder in tlie first degree. 
Weems was first placed on trial, and the jury prcnnptly 
returned a verdict of guilty, fixing death as the punish- 
ment. Hamil's trial followed, and he, too, was convicted 
and the death penalty fixed. During the tri,al John Krout, 
one of the defendants, testified that he, Krout, Weems 
and Hamil were together for several hours immediately 
prior to the murder of Ridpath; that they visited several 


saloons and houses of ill repute; that they then started 
out for the purpose of holding some one up; that the,y 
met Ridpath on Third street, and Weems and Hamil- 
crossed the street; that he heard a shot tired and saw the 
men run away; that he then crossed the street to where 
the murdered man lay. Also, that he afterwards met 
Weems and llamil and asked the latter Avhat he had 
done with his revolver, and Hamil said he had "planted 
it;" that this night was the first time he had ever met 
Weems or Hamil. Other witnesses testified that Hamil, 
Weems and Krout were together on the night of the 
inurder of Kidpath. 

The convicted murderers, Weems and Hamil, were sen- 
tenced to be hanged by the neck imtil dead, and in ac- 
cordance with the laws of the State they were sent to 
the penitentiary at Fort Madison to await the cariyiug 
out of the sentence, and the results of the appeals taken 
to the Supreme Court in both cases. The Supreme Court 
some months ago affirmed the judgment of the lower 
court. A motion, however, for a rehearing has been filed, 
and this motion remains undisposed of at this A\T:'iting. 
Should the Supreme Court reaffirm its former decision 
it will devolve upon the Governor to fix the time when 
these two young convicted murderers shall be hanged 
in accordance with the original sentence in the District 
Court. The Governor or the General Assembly may par- 
don or commute the sentence, although, as far as known, 
no steps in the latter direction have been taken by the 
friends of the murderers. 



FEOM the first Des Moines was by not a few Iowa 
men looked npon as the future capital of the State. 
The first Territorial capital had been located at 
Burlington, but this then town being located near the 
southeast corner of the Territory it was not expected 
it would continue as the capital many years. This ex- 
pectation was realized. In a few years, sanctioned by 
Congress, the ca])ital was estabMshed at Iowa City and 
a fine stone building, for that day, was there erected at 
the expense of the general government. At that time 
nearly all tlie organized counties, towns and settlements 
were along the Mississippi River, or within one hundred 
miles of tlie same. Iowa City was well located, so far 
as the north and south lines of the new State were con- 
cerned, and also as to the then population, but by the 
acute minds of the pioneers it was seen that its location 
was too far east to make it the permanent capital of the 
State, especially when the boundaries of the latter had 
been exended to the Missouri River. As the central and 
western portions of the State became more populous and 
more thickly settled, it was evident the State capital 
must, Avitli the emigration, move further west. This was 
conceded at an early day. In fact only a year or two after 
the territory became a State the General Assembly ap-